Really, Scott? More butterflies? Yes. You’ll have to come to terms with the fact I have developed an interest.
But I think if you watch this video from yesterday, you might understand in part why I have developed such an interest: tranquility.
My fascination has evolved for other reasons as well. Not long after my arrival in Costa Rica, the owner of the house and I worked out a barter arrangement wherein I would do some relatively light work around the house in exchange for rent. (Sweet!) So I’ve been at the house and in the area close to here a lot of the time because of that. The sheer abundance of life in the almond tree and in the yard alone sparked my curiosity.
Too, I want to give back to Costa Rica for so graciously allowing me to experience this wonderful country. There are numerous ways I can do this, of course. There are a couple of ideas I’d like to pursue but I need to be more permanently settled to do them. And I’m anxious to be more settled!! However, I’ve come to realize that my photography of butterflies is one way I can give back immediately. While I simply enjoy the beauty of butterflies and I love being able to capture them in photographs and video, it’s actually worthwhile for science and research.
I’m currently waiting for the rain to let up for two days in a row so that I can finish painting the exterior of the house. It’s rained every afternoon and/or evening for the past five days. So yesterday, I rode down to the riverbed at the end of the street, searching for butterflies.
I didn’t find any sizable clumps of flowering life and so got on the dirt road I had recently traveled, knowing that I would find them. About 100 meters down, right beside the road: butterflies everywhere.
That picture. For that reason alone, I need to take my tripod on these types of outings, I’ve decided. There were so many beautiful moments that would best be captured by video. The little bit of video I did shoot with the camera came from balancing it on dead wood and rocks found beside the road.
It actually turned educational for me as empirical evidence that I wasn’t searching for would appear. For example, I noticed that the way species fed varied greatly. Never even thought about it until I stood there watching them. There was one particular butterfly that wouldn’t land when pulling nectar out of the flowers; it would hover above, continually flapping its wings. I tried (unsuccessfully) to capture this. But like the orange butterfly (currently unidentified) at the end of the video above , it fed quickly. By the time I would finish adjusting ISO and shutter speed to capture it, it would fly off. Every single time.
This is a fraction of the photographs I took yesterday. There are a few more photos that I’ve put up in the Herradura gallery. However, I am creating a separate gallery just for the species within the lepidoptera order of insects. (How very technical!)
I couldn’t accurately guess how many different species I saw in this one small location. 25? 50? 100? It seemed endless. Every time I thought I had spotted all the species right there, another one would appear. And often, I would photograph a butterfly I thought I had already photographed (to get a better shot) and it would turn out to be something different. Even still, I didn’t photograph that many different species even though I stayed in the same spot for over an hour. Just beyond the barbed wire fence at the side of the road, were zillions of butterflies. ZILLIONS!!
The trick is identifying them. How much fun for someone with OCD tendencies, though!!! I was so thrilled to discover the Butterflies and Moths of North America site. While technically Costa Rica shouldn’t be included in the database based on the name of the site, BAMONA’s range for data-collecting extends south to Panama in Central America.
Yes. I’m totally dorking up my life. But at least there are butterflies involved! So I’ve got THAT going for me. Which is nice.
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