Butterflies! Butterflies Everywhere!

Stratford-Upon-Avon, whilst may be known for being part of Shakespeare’s country, it holds a secret in the form of the tropical paradise that is Stratford Butterfly Farm. This is the Uk’s Largest tropical butterfly paradise and hosts a range of butterflies in all stages of their development.

colourfull butt
The underside of a Red Lacewing butterfly resting on a leaf

 

 

As you first walked towards the farm the mirrors and nymphs created an unusual atmosphere.

Butterfly Farm entrance
The entry way to the path that leads towards the butterfly farm door

 

Then when you had entered and walked through the plastic slats that hung down at the entrance, the heat was the first thing that welcomed you. This made a welcome change to being wrapped up in multiple layers but being able to take pictures in just a T-shirt for once. However initially this proved problematic for our cold cameras and the first thing they did was to fog over. While we waited for the camera and lenses to acclimatise to the tropical environment inside the butterfly flight area, it was nice to observe the butterflies all around and taking an early morning drink.

 

clear wing butterfly
A clear wing butterfly taking a drink

Once my trusty Canon had warmed up and the lens cleared then I could begin exploring the world of the tropics and tropical rainforest, that was home to an array of butterflies.

 

black and orange butterfly
A banded orange butterfly resting on a leaf with its wings open

While the light in the greenhouse was very evenly distributed as there was no cloud to factor in the settings were applied. However, the aperture was initially around 4/ 5.6 which meant in some of the pictures parts of the wings were out of focus.

 

another butt
This butterfly was more keen on the nectar in the flower than anything else.

To overcome this issue, I decided to dig out my flash gun from my camera bag and make use of its capabilities. This did mean there was an added screen to fiddle with settings for but as the day progressed I got used to it, altering the amount of flash light and sometimes not using at all.

blue shiny butt
A Blue Morpho butterfly resting on a leaf, taken using a flash gun to show the reflectiveness of its scales on the wings

 

 

Throughout the day I tried to take visually interesting images of the tropical butterflies around us keeping everything in focus. Including the many butterflies that decided they took a fancy to resting on my or my camera bag.

 

IMG_8035-Edit
One of my favourite images from the day
collourful butt on finger
A Red Lacewing butterfly resting on my finger

There was also an interactive display/ talk where one of the staff members brought out some of the insects and butterfly pupa for us to look at at closer detail. Including this Giant African Snail and millipede

 

giant milipede
The Giant Millipede peeping out of the box he was brought out to be demonstrated in
snaily snail
An inquisitive giant african land snail exploring the demonstration worktop

 

This was one of the more fun and creative of the field trip Friday outings, as there was a new butterfly on every walk around and leaf you overturned, as well as a few eggs and caterpillars of you were lucky.

The above images show the pupa neatly glued onto rods by the staff of Stratford Butterfly Farm, awaiting the butterflies to emerge.

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