Butterfly wings are an exquisite medium in which to convey the connections between science and art. They are as delicate, yet complex, as the cycle of life. The scales of the Morpho butterfly have a microstructure and sculpted cover scales that increase the intensity and glossiness of the brilliant blue color, which will never fade.
This image depicts the light from the sun, reaching out to the earth, while the earth reaches up to receive the light. The gap between the outstretched Papilionid tails is bridged by the greens and reds reminiscent of the leaves and flowers of plants, which capture the light and make it available to the earth through photosynthesis. The butterfly wings reflect the light out again toward the sun.
These butterflies lived out their normal life-span at the Butterfly Wing, at Reiman Gardens on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, Iowa. The scales on the wings are the palette. The shapes and patterns of the wings, including leaf shapes and eyespots, show a myriad of designs.