The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said: ‘Art takes Nature as its model.’ This certainly speak volumes when you enter the ‘Wings of the Tropics’ exhibit at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (one of the world’s most unique botanical gardens) just off Old Curler Road in Coral Gables, Florida.
This detour is an absolutely ‘must see’ on your ‘To Do’ list when visiting Metropolitan Miami, and a favorite (especially) of young children who appear so totally taken back with so much breathtaking beauty that is easily accessible to them.
The ‘Wings of the Tropics' exhibit in the Clinton Family Conservatory is the most recent exhibit launched by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden last year. It is a one-of-a-kind display of about three thousand butterflies representing almost forty different species like the exotic heliconids, morphos and owl butterflies, just to name a few, from Central America, South America and from the Asian Peninsula.
This natural beauty, captured by Photographer Winston D. Munnings, is the Paper Kite, Rice Paper, or Large Tree Nymph butterfly (Idea leuconoe) and is known especially for its presence in butterfly greenhouses and live butterfly expositions. The Paper Kite is of Southeast Asian origin. According to LearnAboutButterflies.com:
“there are 12 Idea species, of which 5 occur in West Malaysia i.e. hypermnestra, leuconoe, lynceus, iasonia and stolli. The other 7 species are found variously in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, Irian and Papua New Guinea.”
The exhibit is truly a sight to observe and, photographers in particular, just can’t seem to get enough of it. Caution, however: If you have the little ones with you, DO NOT go to this exhibit without a camera in hand. You’ll never forgive yourself. The photo opportunities are incredible and represent images you’ll certainly want to share with the entire family (and friends) for many years to come.
The ‘Wings of the Tropics’ exhibit is open daily between the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.