Posted by: Phil | March 10, 2010

Butterflies go free!

Until the end of April one can see at the main greenhouse of the botanical garden the exhibition called, “Butterflies Go Free”. In this greenhouse, 50 to 75 species of butterflies are set free among vegetation that is necessary for the butterflies to live and prosper. The temperature in the main area where the butterflies are is high, very tropical indeed.

I decided to visit this event in the afternoon, and I knew that it was not the best of time for a photographer. The greenhouse was severely crowded; in fact,  I had to wait 15 minutes in line before I was able to go in. The line-up was worse when I exited 45 minutes later as it was  twice as long.

Inside one is immediately struck by the high temperatures as well as the crowds; many families were there,  several with strollers. This  complicated  walking around the greenhouse. There was always someone in front of me or some behind me. It felt like being in the Metro at rush hour.

After following the path that went  around the greenhouse we finally reached the floor level where the crowds were not as great,  but moving around to photograph the butterflies was still a challenge. I must admit that my equipment was not well suited for this; I carried a Canon XTI camera with a macro 50mm lense from Sigma. Which means that on my camera the lens became an 80mm. This meant I still had to get very close to the butterfles to get some close-up shots, and I was not always succesful. In fact, out of 100 shots only perhaps 20 were considered good to fair by me. In other words, I took a lot of crappy pictures! But it is the good ones that count. I submit the following pictures as evidence of not too shabby photography on my part.



  1. I remember some fifteen or sixteen years ago when this event was held at the Insectarium. It was a rudimentary structure with cheap mesh around the supporting wooden structure. It was not very popular and you had time to speak with the people responsible for the exihibition and the Monarch was truly the King of the collection. As a matter of fact during my travels in Georgian Bay, North Channel and Lake Huron this past sailing season many a time the Monarchs were our only companions. Mighty powerful creatures these butterflies when you consider their migratory path! I guess I have to go see this exhibition!

    • I think that now, it is way too popular! And costly too without the rebates…

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