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Panamanian Butterflies (continued)


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Although an adult butterfly’s life span is typically only three weeks, they are essential in maintaining the world’s ecosystems balance. Butterflies and their sensitive bodies alert scientists to atmospheric changes and are they are second only to bees as pollinators. Although their life span on earth is brief, these ingenious flights of wonder have evolved with their environment. The coloring on their wings is vital to survival for them, with some butterflies sporting eye-spots on their exterior to mimic the eyes of larger animals in an attempt to discourage prowlers. Other butterflies, such as the red-necked postman are poisonous, and their brightly colored wings warn predators to rethink their butterfly feast. Many butterflies found in Panama appear, at first glance, to be uninspiring. When perched with closed wings, their dull brown and gray tones blend with the jungle’s natural flora to camouflage the butterflies from danger. However, once they take flight, florescent shades of blue, red, or yellow are revealed, and onlookers are instantly captivated by their beauty. Perched on the banks of the Chagres River and adjacent to the famous Panama Canal, the Gamboa Rainforest Resort Ecological Exhibit is a refuge for Panamanian butterflies. butterfly2It is a serene safe-house, complete with misty dew drops and fresh fruit and water, and visitors are submerged into the tranquil world of a butterfly in flight.
In Bocas del Toro, Colon Island where one can hike through a thick mangrove forest to reach a second butterfly retreat. This tropical paradise houses hundreds of brightly colored butterflies and visitors are invited to observe all stages of a butterfly’s life cycle. This is probably the best location to observe butterflies in all of Panama
The 1913 Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Rabindranath Tagore, said, “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough”. Fortunately for all of us, butterflies use their time to enrich the planet and the lives of the beings on it. Beautiful Panama indeed provides boundless inspiration for the soul.
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