Photographing butterflies requires one to be exquisitely alert and spontaneous . . . The butterflies are riotous and submit to no one's will!
I arrived at The Butterfly Conservatory bright and early after commuting an hour to the Upper West Side. Immediately, I met the AMNH butterfly expert, Daniel. He advised me to let my camera warm up to the tropical temperature inside the conservatory, and he assured me that the condensation on the lens (oh no!) would evaporate. In the meantime, Daniel directed my attention to the coolest moth ever! We discussed natural selection, primitive species, and the lifespan of butterflies and moths. This one will live for only 8 or 9 days . . .
Notice that the tips of the moth's wings resemble the head of a snake! Predators beware. What a beautiful example of evolution!
The butterflies frequently landed on my arms, head, and one rested on my video camera for several minutes! I obviously couldn't photograph the butterfly, but I was able to examine it up close. Its translucent wings and tiny veins were mesmerizing. It seemed so light and fragile, its mere existence was enthralling and suspenseful.
I found the experience to be humbling . . .