Butterfly Heads

I am in Texas and missing my frequent visits to Brookside Gardens Wings of Fancy in Maryland. The pictures I took right before I left are something to savor. The theme of my photography inside the conservatory was ‘butterfly heads! The blue morphos have orange and white papillae --- nothing iridescent blue about their heads.

Some butterflies have papillae that are very large. The proboscis is between the papillae and extend for feeding on bananas or flowers.

Sometimes the papillae are damaged. I notice the owls often have broken papillae. The brown and black stripes of the owl eyes are different than other butterfly eyes.

Some butterflies have antennae that seem to glow at the ends.

In the conservatory, butterflies are sometimes resting upside down under leaves. Its always a thrill to notice one in the foliage.

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Some of the larger butterflies feed on multiple flowers in succession – wings almost always in motion. The last day I was at Brookside was sunny enough that the camera was fast enough to freeze the motion.

I tell children that the butterfly’s proboscis is like a straw…and they do seem to handle it like one…although the way they coil it under their head is different from straws we use!

Butterflies feeding on flowers are my favorites, but some prefer bananas (or other rotting fruit). I inevitability decide that all of them are worth trying to photograph.