Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's summer exhibit FLUTTER! is full of colorful butterflies and beautiful plants and blossoms. It's a photographer's paradise, a great place to revitalize your senses and a world of wonder for the kids!At least once every summer -- usually earlier than July -- I spend a few hours in the Zoo's Public Greenhouse snapping photos of summer exhibit FLUTTER! At FLUTTER!, the Greenhouse across from Wade Hall is transformed into a tropical paradise of bright colors and scents and, at times, misty rainforest-like conditions. Every year, I go in with the specific task of taking close-up photos of butterflies. And every year, I am reminded of how much fun it is to take close-up photos of butterflies (because half the fun is following them around waiting for them to land so I can get that "perfect" shot). This year, I was also reminded of how much fun FLUTTER! is for kids. Watching children and their fascination with butterflies instantly transports me to when I was a kid in my backyard.
This year, I managed to catch on camera many colorful butterflies that I've never seen before. I also searched high and low for one called the "Costa Rica clearwing." The clearwing is a difficult butterfly to find because its wings are, obviously, transparent! The difficulty of finding it is compounded by its size - it's very small. The person who told me of its size is one of the Zoo's Animal Care Managers - she knows because she has, indeed, seen a Costa Rica clearwing at FLUTTER! We KNOW they're floating around somewhere because we can see that they've hatched from their chrysalises in the viewing box. Yet another another awesome thing about this exhibit - you can watch the butterflies hatch!
Unfortunately, I never saw the clearwing (if you manage to catch one on camera, please share it with us on Facebook or Twitter), but I did capture some other stunning butterflies (and flowers) at FLUTTER! Here's a photo gallery: