Greenhouse Butterflies

For a week every October, Carleton University’s Biology Department hosts a butterfly show. I’ve been meaning to go to it for years, but the weekend lines have always put me off.

But having gotten some photos of butterflies (one species only) in my front yard, I figured that this year I should make the effort. So I went on Monday morning just as they opened up.

The good news? No line-up.

The bad news? A greenhouse doesn’t offer the same full-light conditions as my front yard, making it hard to get sharp photos. In most cases, getting enough light meant that the depth of field was extremely shallow, so that I couldn’t get the whole butterfly in sharp focus.

On the other hand, there were many fabulous butterflies.


Close-up of banded butterfly (orange, tan, black) on leaf

Close-up, side view of brown butterfly on leaf

Close-up, face-on view of butterfly (orange, black, yellow) on leaf

Close-up underneath view of orange butterfly

Close-up, underneath view of butterfly mimicking a dried-up leaf


Close-up, side view of black butterfly on flower head

Close0up, side view of butterfly (brown, black, yellow) on seed head

Side view of butterfly (black, red,white) on flower head.

Two green and brown butterflies facing each other


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6 Responses to Greenhouse Butterflies

  1. Ralph (a.k.a. Dido) says:

    O..K,, these are a good practical approximation to wonderful !

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Ralph – Glad you like them. Next year, with a macro lens. Of course, they flit as soon as they see/sense anything close to them . . .

  2. Jim Robertson says:

    Nice captures Isabel, you did well working with the conditions you described.

  3. Jim Taylor says:

    We went to three butterfly farms/displays in the tropics — Costa Rica, St. Maarten, and St. Lucia. The St. Maarten one is probably gone now, thanks to Maria. Your pictures from Ottawa look good, but I have to say I don’t think they can compare to have butterfly with a six-inch fluorescent blue wingspan land on the end of your nose. It’s an awe-inspiring moment.
    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – Yes, I believe that might be the highlight, all right. I enjoyed watching the preschoolers who were at the butterfly show. They were quite delighted when a butterfly landed on a wedge of orange they were holding.

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