BLUE BUTTERFLIES TAKE OVER CALLAWAY RESORT & GARDENS’ CECIL B. DAY BUTTERFLY CENTER
Brilliant Blue Butterflies Provide Beautiful Sight for Guests
PINE MOUNTAIN, GA (9/15/2017) – September is Blue Morpho Butterfly Month at Callaway Resort & Gardens’ Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center. Typically there are more than 1,000 tropical butterflies of various kinds flying freely throughout the conservatory; however, this month it will be filled exclusively with spectacular blue morpho butterflies.
“During September, visitors to the Day Butterfly Center will witness the largest display of blue morphos on the planet at that moment,” said Michael Buckman, manager of the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center. “This is our ninth year filling the Center with blue morphos. I’ve been told by suppliers that we are receiving all that they have of these beautiful butterflies. When I heard that, I knew we were doing something very special.”
The blue morpho (Morpho peleides) is a spectacular iridescent blue butterfly native to the rainforests of South and Central America. The undersides of the wings are brown with large eyespots and the contrasting upper sides have perhaps the most brilliant, vivid blue that nature has to offer. This iridescent color is actually a result of the microscopic scales on the back of their wings refracting light, giving the brilliant shimmering blue appearance. As a blue morpho flies, its contrasting wing colors of brilliant blue and dull brown fool the eye and make the morpho look as if it is appearing and disappearing. The word ‘morpho’ actually means “to change or modify.”
This tropical butterfly is usually a forest dweller but occasionally ventures into sunny areas. They are diurnal, or active during the day, and they spend much of their time in flight because they can be territorial. When courting, they often fly in long chains of five or more making a spectacular sight.
As one of the largest butterflies, with a wingspan of five to eight inches, the blue morpho is a wonderful subject for photos and video. They feed on the juice of rotting fruit making them easy to locate at the fruit feeders in the Day Butterfly Center. Butterflies are most active between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. For best results taking photos, consider visiting when the butterflies are resting, before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m.
Guests to the Center have the opportunity to watch a movie about the lifecycle of a butterfly made especially for this facility. Native butterflies in the Outdoor Butterfly Garden are very active in the late-Summer and into Fall with migrating species beginning their movement. Monarch butterflies will be flying through the Pine Mountain area beginning in mid-September. A workshop on this native, migratory species is available on September 23, as well as an “Entomologist for a Day” workshop on October 14. To register for these, please visit www.callawaygardens.com/workshops. In addition, the gift shop offers a plethora of gift items, educational materials, décor, and more all related to butterflies.
General admission* to the Gardens, home of the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, is $20 per adult (ages 13-64); $15 per senior (65+); $10 per child (ages 6-12); and free for children 5 and younger (admission prices include tax). Annual Passholders, with their pass and valid ID can enter the Gardens with up to five guests in the same vehicle for free per day. Military and their spouse receive free admission and half price admission for up to four guests in the same vehicle. This price includes access to the Gardens and its many attractions and activities. The Day Butterfly Center is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Callaway Gardens® is in Pine Mountain, Ga., 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus.