The world’s 180,000 species of butterfly date back over 56 million years, covering an impressive evolution cycle in their four stages of life, rivalling any other creature on earth: from eggs, to larvae, to caterpillars and then multi-coloured winged flutterers.
Certainly, they cannot have been far from the mind of one of history’s most famous naturalists and biologists, Charles Darwin, when he said that “the love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man”.
Over 3,000 of these species of butterfly and moth can be found in the heart of Central America. Which, often offering a constant array of colour, can, in turn, take even the most well-prepared visitors by surprise. Not least when experienced up-front and in person, they are truly one of the most enchanting of wildlife experiences.
Although I am no expert, I completely fell in love with the never-ending kaleidoscope of butterflies, that escorted me through jungles, across rivers, along coastlines and up mountains over my travels in the region. You will soon appreciate that enjoying even the simplest of butterfly-nature-walks proves that you don’t need to travel to an inhospitable environment to witness, first-hand, a truly remarkable natural-world experience.
Without much research, I took these photos whenever the opportunity arose. Patience and slow movement probably being the most crucial of attributes when trying to catch the delectate beauty of these creatures. Whether snapping one of the brilliant native blue monarchs or beady eyed papilio machaons, the chances of trying to photograph them between flutters is always as much fun as simply enjoying their fanciful, fairy tale style flights of fancy.
I challenge you not to smile as you experience either a single butterfly, or a large migration, as you twist and turn at each explosion of colour.
So, keep your eyes open. Whether on the coastlines of inland areas of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Cota Rica or Panama, you are in for a lovely surprise.