Mariposas y Polillas — Costa Rica 2020

Dos Rios abounds in butterflies. Soon after dawn, the first butterflies you often see are the blue morphos, who are as large and as agile in the air as a small bird. Every morning we see them. Our friend AS says that over at his place there’s a morpho that follows exactly the same flight path at exactly seven o’clock, every single morning. We who live on the earth are often creatures of habit.

In the morning and throughout the day, even in the heat of the afternoon, butterflies are busy. Finding food. Finding each other. There are moths, too, who come to our lights at night, and who we sometimes find the next morning, resting on the screens, or on other surfaces.

I made no purposeful quest of finding butterflies this year. They just happened, and if the camera was handy, they became subjects for the lens. Here’s 2020’s butterfly and moth collection. I’m no lepidopterist, so there is not much I can offer by way of names or natural history.

Here they are. “Just for pretty”.

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In the old zinnia patch. 

On the heliconia leaves near the house…..

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Morning socializing


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You can say a lot with wings. 

If you go out walking in the day at Dos Rios, you’ll always see butterflies.

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These are ubiquitous on the trails. Zip. Flit. Rest. 

Here’s a leaf-mimic moth. We found it in the middle of the bathroom mirror.

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Leaf-mimic moth

What amazing patterns and coloration!

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Leaf-mimic moth.

This next moth was parked on the table at the casita one morning.

So tiny.

So pretty.

There’s something about green coloration in a butterfly or moth that makes them extra-special.

What’s with that?

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On another morning, the jigsaw puzzle had a visitor.

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You could probably spend a lifetime of study working on these micro-lepidoptera. And in that lifetime you would probably barely scratch the surface of what’s there to discover. 

You don’t have to be colorful to be pretty.

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All this beauty comes to us from metamorphosis. Egg. Larva. Pupa. Adult.

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To think that moths and butterflies come from creatures such as these.

What if humans grew up like that?




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