July 17, 2014

Flying Confetti

Photograph by Steffen Reichle, National Geographic Your Shot

A cloud of butterflies descends upon the Tucavaca Valley in eastern Bolivia. In years with shorter, wetter dry seasons, millions of butterflies will arrive at the beginning of the rainy season. “We probably saw several millions of butterflies in the approximately ten miles that we drove through the valley,” writes photographer Steffen Reichle, who waited 11 years to get this shot after first visiting the region in 2001 without a camera.

Reichle’s picture recently appeared in Your Shot’s Daily Dozen.

This photo was submitted to Your Shot. Check out the new and improved website, where you can share photos, take part in assignments, lend your voice to stories, and connect with fellow photographers from around the globe.

35 comments
Anup Padman
Anup Padman

So beautiful, I can't explain my feeling here in words. Thanks a ton Steffen.

Tina Wade-Lucas
Tina Wade-Lucas

Beautiful photo.  One time, about 20 years ago, I was visiting friends in Alabama.  It was so hot and we were sitting outside.  And there was one lone bush in the distance  with the leaves shaking furiously.  But, there was no breeze.  Suddenly, all the leaves took flight.  They were butterflies.  A bush of butterflies. Never saw anything like that before.  I just recently saw "two" butterflies in my parent's neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.  Until then, I hadn't seen butterflies for many years now.  They were so prevalent some 30 years ago.  Chemical spraying must have killed them off.  But, now they're back. Thank goodness. 

Jose Garcia
Jose Garcia

Nice! Good. Excellent. What else can I say?

nidhi ranji
nidhi ranji

magnificient. you are so lucky to get a view like that!!


Madhumita Pal
Madhumita Pal

lovely !!

looks likes falling leaves at first glance :)

Janice H.
Janice H.

Unbelievably wonderful and surreal that there could be that many butterflies in one area!      Perfectly beautiful and amazing shot of a butterfly wonderland!

Lynette Blom
Lynette Blom

Beautiful! When you look closely there is a butterfly at every possible angle but they look like leaves in a tornado.

Wayne  Norman
Wayne Norman

A wonder of nature surely and you were fortunate enough to be there!  Wow. Super timing and such a composition.  Love this.  Thanks for sharing and the light is wonderful and presentation so cool.  Cheers and congrats.

Yamil Zeballos Galarza
Yamil Zeballos Galarza

Glad to tell you how wonderful experience is to be there, even i saw this phenomenon few times in the city of Tarija, occurs for one day only but not every year. Anyway you must to live this experience even if is just for one day ;)

Val Miller
Val Miller

Woah! I wouldn't want to walk through that, nevermind driving, for fear of killing the butterflies.

Mega Waves
Mega Waves

A really great picture. Looks so peaceful. Were there any sounds made by the butterflies? Do they even make noise?

pala lechat
pala lechat

What a joyous and hopeful image, thanks so much for taking the picture and sharing it with the world!

Kaushik Sarkar
Kaushik Sarkar

Beautiful images like this help us forget momentarily that this is the same planet where planes get shot down and innocent people die everyday for no rhyme or reason...

Steffen Reichle
Steffen Reichle

Thanks for running this picture! It takes me back to the moment I took it! Valle de TUcabaca, an incredible place in eastern Bolivia close to Santiago de Chiquitos!

Rose Chuang
Rose Chuang

I just want to ask:
what happens if you actually drive through the mist of butterflies?
I mean, they won't get seriously hurt, would they?

Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

Just beautiful,breathtaking, and hard to imagine. A stunning picture that for me to wake up to, is to say, thank you, Steffen. You waited 11 years for this shot, and we have it in all its beauty at our fingertips, in minutes.  j.e.s...........

ANGELA MITCHELL
ANGELA MITCHELL

I experienced this on a small scale in France (County Lot) on the Dodoigne River. Its uplifting and (poetic licence here) makes you feel that you are being gently "kissed" by nature.Wonderful 

Bev Hennager
Bev Hennager

Feels like heaven.  I saw butterflies migrating once at 8600 feet in Colorado.  There was still snow on the ground and there were thousands of them everywhere. I believe they were monarchs because they were orange and black  but I am not sure.  This was after a long winter of being snow bound for 5 months.  I don't believe I could have captured it on film the way you do but I have always wished to see it again.


Jan Xu
Jan Xu

Schön aber ohne PS?

Lawrence Sibley
Lawrence Sibley

Magical!  It's like the tree foliage has become animate, detached, and capable of flight.

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