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  Bird-watching Paradise: Hacienda Chichen's own Bird Refuge a mist the ancient Mayan archaeological site of Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico  View Hacienda Chichen's exquisite Flora Catalog Online - visit this unique Eco-Cultural Spa Resort in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.  Fall in Love with Mother Nature's wildlife creatures, come stay in Yucatan's most acclaimed Eco-Cultural Destination: Hacienda Chichen Resort  Enjoy Mother Nature and a Wildlife Butterfly Sanctuary at Hacienda Chichen

Chichen Itza's famous Kukulkan Pyramid and Mayan archaeological zone... visit it and stay at Hacienda Chichen an Eco-Cultural Spa Paradise!

Hacienda Chichen Resort and Yaxkin Spa: The Best Mayan Eco-Wellness Destination and Romantic Eco-Getaway in Yucatan, Mexico






US Naturalist Jim Conrad's Experiences
at Hacienda Chichen Private Nature Reserve

Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

 Blue Iridescence in a Shaft of Light
January 17th, 2010

Early mornings this week were so chilly, that I took long walks within Hacienda Chichen's vast private Maya Jungle Reserve to keep warm and sat in the rising sun when I could. One morning deep in the forest as I searched for a shaft of light to sit in a flash of iridescent blueness detonated on the forest floor where a little sun-fleck came and went as tree branches above shifted in the wind. In such chill gloom, "detonated" is the right word, for the color and brightness were shocking, simply stabbing into my consciousness.

Mexican Bluewing Butterfly photographed by Jim Conrad at Hacienda Chichen's Maya Jungle Reserve, view other butterflies found thereI crept toward where the flash had come from, quietly parting undergrowth so as to frighten nothing away. At first the forest floor remained dark, but then a breeze shook a tree limb and again the flash exploded right below me, then growing dark again. The next time the sun-fleck blinked on, my camera was focused on the spot, and that was fortunate, for exactly as I snapped the picture my quarry took wing.

Mexican Bluewing butterfly, Myscelia ethusa, is a tropical species distributed from Colombia through Central America and Mexico; periodically straying across lower Rio Grande into extreme southern Texas. The Mexican Bluewing is related to North America's Admiral Butterflies. 

Adult butterflies eat rotting fruit and rest on tree trunks with their wings closed, exposing undersides that camouflage them as tree bark. No amount of simple information, however, could offer anything like the pleasure of being introduced to the Mexican Bluewing as I was that morning.  In this sparkling, animated world I sat unmoving, dark and quiet. The moment lasted for less than ten minutes. Then the temperature must have risen, lowering the relative humidity so that my breath no longer formed fog, and dew burned off the landscape.

In such a brief time the grass and weeds lost their sparkling dewdrops, spider-webs ceased their shining, and the butterfly just like the birds moved on. The landscape assumed the somberness that until then only I had carried inside.

Standing, looking around, suddenly I realized that the light and movement and music weren't gone at all, but that rather they had been imparted into me. In fact, all day long I carried within me that morning's rising sun. Everything I did I did buzzing inside with clouds of radiantly charged spirit, being translucently satisfied with things as they were.

I hope that in your own life you have a time and a place where on chilly mornings you can warm yourself in the rising sun, and receive those gifts of Nature that are freely given.

Jim Conrad, US Naturalist supporting the Maya Foundation In Laakeech Environmental Volunteer Programs and the Green Awareness programs of Hacienda Chichen Resort in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.


Some Facts about Mexican Bluewing Butterflies:

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Family: Nymphalidae.

SubFamily: Limenitidinae.

Butterfly Indentification: Mexican Bluewings are Brush-footed butterflies. Forewing apex is truncated. Upperside has iridescent blue and black bands; outer half of forewing has large white spots. Wing span is 2.5 to 3 inches wide.

Young caterpillars rest in perches attached with dung pellets and silk to a leaf vain; their favorite host plant is a tall wild bush: Casey Adelia, Adelia vaseyi. 

Myscelia ethusa adults rest on tree trunks with wings closed exposing the underside of their wings which mimic tree bark.  Caterpillars and adult butterflies are protected at Hacienda Chichen's private Maya Jungle Nature Reserve and can be observe during winter months in the dry scrub or scattered tropical forest areas.

Despite their small size, butterflies and moths are some of the world's most wondrous animals. Their beauty, seemingly miraculous metamorphosis, and apparently carefree flight all spark our imagination and inspire us to protect and respect our environment.

Life Cycle of Butterflies: 

As advanced insects, butterflies (as well as moths) have a four separate stage life cycle; each stage has its own particular purpose and life form:

The Egg:    butterfly eggs are tiny (round, oval or cylindrical shaped) usually have fine ribs and microscopic structures.  The mature butterfly female attaches her eggs to leaves, stems, and areas near the intended caterpillar food supply; thus, to have a butterfly garden, it is ideal to plant "cartepillar food" plants as well as "butterfly food plants."

Mexican Bluewing Catterpillar, view other butterflies and their caterpillar life cycle stages here. Courtesy of Hacienda Chichen, an Eco-Spa Sanctuary of Life in Yucatan, MexicoThe Caterpillar (or Larva) is the long, worm-like stage of a butterfly. Each butterfly has its own shape and interesting outer decor color and texture pattern (strips, patches, sine like hairs, etc.)  As the caterpillar grows, it sheds its skin four or more times so as to enclosed its rapidly growing body; caterpillars are the growth and feeding stage of the butterfly's life cycle.

The Chrysalis (or Pupa) is the transformation life cycle stage of this marvelous inscets, within which the caterpillar tissues are broken down and the adult insect's structure are formed. The Chrysalis of most butterfly species is brown or green and blends into the background.  Many species overwinter in this stage.

The Adult (or Imago) is when reproductive and mobile stage: the beautiful butterflies life cycle.  Adult butterfly stage is also when the species migrates or colonizes new habitats.  Butterflies normally feed on nectar and rotten fruits.  Mexican Bluewing full life cycle shown here.

Learn more about Yucatan's Wildlife at Hacienda Chichen's private Maya Jungle Reserve Flora and Fauna.

Hotel owners and managers of hospitality services in Yucatan are invited to email us a request for us to visit and stay at their properties for a fam-trip inspection visit, if your hotel meets our standards of Sustainable Tourism Practices and Service Quality we will include it among our selected list of best accommodations in  the our eco-travel Yucatan today website.  Please feel free to contact us at info@travelyucatantoday.com

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