Common Blue Morpho

Don’t worry… no animals were harmed or mistreated in any way during the production of this post. The above is a paper Morpho peleides from the St. Louis Butterfly House that I’ve strung-up in a pasta sauce jar (which I even took the time to wash out first). You’re welcome, fake butterfly.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

It has been said something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world. – Chaos Theory

Title Card from The Butterfly Effect

About this image: digital photograph heavily modified to replicate wet plate collodion


98 thoughts on “Common Blue Morpho

  1. Gorgeous! We had a butterfly show up several days ago, seemingly out of nowhere. We found it flapping gently against the curtain in our living room. We fed it hummingbird nectar from a shallow dish. When I went to check on it yesterday, it had gone.

    • Very cool! I don’t think I’ve seen a butterfly since the day Annabelle and I picked this one up at the butterfly house… (which is a pretty cool place… one trip there = more butterflies than I normally see in several years)!
      Thank you very much, Dishy!

    • Thank you so much, J.P.!
      I think parts of it are fairly convincing… the middle section looks fairly plastic, though. It just occurred to me a few minutes ago I should have thrown some textured paint on there… bummer.

    • Thank you, Nancy! That’s very nice to hear, because that’s exactly the ‘look’ I was going for! I’m wishing now I would have picked up a few more (they had different kinds) and made several jars like this… I might still do that. Or try something else, too (if I can find a convincing enough fake)!

  2. Ooooh the tomato sauce could have been a bloody twist to the ‘fake’ butterfly. Do zombie butterflies exist? They flutter about mumbling “STAMEN!”

    I love this creation, SIG. I’m sharing it with a friend of mine. Butterflies remind her of her Mom, who died a year ago. This ‘captures’ her spirit nicely.

    • Zombie butterflies! Now that’s a frightening thought. I get the feeling I could outrun a traditional zombie… but giving them wings just seems to be asking for trouble!

      Thank you very, very much, Ms. D… I can’t even imagine how difficult that must be… I hope she likes this…

  3. Well if it had been real, that wouldn’t have bothered me at all – it all depends on how you perceive a butterfly in a jar. It could have been in the jar because a cocoon was spared, allowed to grow, hatch out and fly off. Or a kit for hatching out butterflies. Or it was captured for a pic and released. I mean, John James Audubon shot the birds he painted in his famous Elephant book. There is a humane way to study animals, and a few hours in a jar won’t kill a butterfly.

    That said, I love the effects used and the finished feel of it, very edgy/romantic.

    • Agreed, Spectra… I just didn’t want anyone to freak-out on me (I do plenty of other stuff that actually warrants that, but this didn’t seem like one of those times).
      Thank you very much! It took a lot longer to put together than I’d expected, but it was a lot of fun, too!

  4. This is lovely – is it really that delicate shade of blue?

    I once walked through a butterfly house and it was magical with them flying all over the place, not terrifying like in a Hitchcock movie.

    • Why, thank you!
      They are really much brighter… almost iridescent looking (very cool, but I though something more subtle and hand-toned looking might work in this instance).
      They’re really interesting places! We visit the one near us every now and then.

  5. I like this a lot, beautiful! I have a thing about butterflies, I just love em πŸ™‚ I really want to have a go at the technique you are using. I will give it ago when I get time. Talk to you soon BP πŸ™‚

  6. Has that “shabby chic” look. I love anything butterfly related. I raised a few black swallowtails in an aquarium this past summer and released them. Marvelous experience! I blogged about them, under butterflies in the category of posts section if you want to see them.

  7. The picture gives out a very sad impression. To me, the spirit of the butterfly is trapping in the jar. @0@ Nice technique, anyway. I love the color and the colorless in the picture! πŸ˜€

    • I can definitely understand how this might feel sad…
      I’m very happy to hear you liked the technique and the colors, though! I had a hard time deciding on just how much color to keep/add!

    • I used to do similar things when I was young, too! I’d often put a caterpillar in a jar and after it turned into a butterfly I would bring it back outside and let it go. It was very interesting…

  8. Sending out an SOS, sending out an SOS, sending out an SOS. I hope that someone gets my, I hope that someone gets my, I hope that someone gets my butterfly in a bottle oh oh…

  9. I like the hint of colour on the Butterfly wings on this one,
    and as it is mainly a b & w photograph it adds class πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Thank you for sharing your rather
    unique form of artistry my fine friend πŸ™‚

    Oh Yes…
    And Have A Great Weekend Also πŸ™‚


    • I’m very happy to hear you liked the splash of color! I went back and fourth with that one… it seemed a bit more ‘authentic’ without it, but it seemed to need a little something extra. I kept it mild, though, in the hopes it would still feel fairly vintage.
      Thank you again for your great kindness, (as always), J.G.! I sincerely appreciate it, sir!
      Have a good one, A.G.!

    • Spring sure sounds nice right now – we’ve got a freezing rain kind of thing happening here at the moment… not a good time!
      Thank you so much, Nancy! Background grays seem to make most images ‘pop’ a bit more… which is nice, I think.

  10. I’m so glad it’s not real. It’s a gorgeous image, Robert, I like it very much. I’d go so far as to say it’s a hopeful image as the butterfly looks alive to me, perhaps rescued from somewhere and soon to be released somewhere better.

    • I’m so happy to hear you liked it, S.E.!
      It took me quite a bit longer to assemble all the pieces for this one than I anticipated (and I made a real mess doing so), but it was a lot of fun, too!

  11. I like the color, too. Very nice, even if the butterfly is fake! Actually maybe more so, since it looked very real to me.

    No animals were harmed, but I bet the pasta sauce was delicious!

  12. Wow. I can’t believe it’s a photograph. I mean I believe it, but I never would have guessed it.
    It looks great! Creepy and beautiful at the same time.
    It looks like something you’d find in the dusty barn behind the cereal killers house. “Would you like to come inside for some Apple Jacks?”

    • Thank you so much, sir!
      That’s very nice to hear (because it’s exactly the look I was going for)!
      I wish I would have had an old barn to shoot this in
      (wouldn’t it look great with some rays of light shining through dusty air)?!
      Hahaha… that’s just not fair… who could turn down some Apple Jacks?

    • Thank you so much, J.G.!
      That does sound a bit unusual… I used to try to catch butterflies (and all kinds of creatures) when I was a kid, too, but I usually let most of them go again pretty quickly.

    • Thank you so much, Mr. B!
      Hahaha! Yeah, I figured it might be about time for a fresh coat-o-paint
      (and it seems like these darker grays show off images a bit more… which is nice)!

  13. Excellent work ! Love the contrast of butterfly blues and sepia wood (is that a song title ?) . If you hadn’t told us it was a paper butterfly it would have been a Schrodinger butterfly, both real & paper.
    “In the vacuum of the glass jar no one can hear you scream ‘pasta sauce’.”

    • Thank you very much, sir! I spent quite a bit of time trying to decide how much blue vs. how much sepia… but then I guess I spent quite a bit of time trying to make up my mind about all the other details, too! So many choices… so little pasta sauce!

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