On Facebook, Nilesh Jasani nominated me for the seven-day long nature photography challenge, where one posts one photograph every day for, predictably, seven days.
what I am trying
to capture is the sheer
delicacy of it: like the way
that sunlight breaks across
water in a million fragments,
or the smallness of stars
at night and the vastness of
the night sky about them. or
the stars in their deep brown
eyes and how it twinkles
in the afternoon. or the
burgeoning sense of birdsong
in the morning growing with
the growing light. or the
patterns of rain on river. or
the oldness of tree roots. or
the drifting dance of butterfly
wings and the colours each day
The Blues are a subgroup of the family Lycaenidae, which comprise some 30% of butterflies species worldwide. They are a pain in the butt.
The first problem: they’re tiny. They hold the smallest butterfly in the world – the grass jewel – and often the difference between species comes to one spot on the hindwing that you can’t even see anyways. And they never stop moving.
Second problem: they’re also beautiful, but you never see that. (See point 1.) Their uper wings are a stunning blue in the right light. Unfortunately, even if the light is present, to see one sunbathing and stay still long enough for you to get close is an enormous feat of patience.
Mostly it comes down to hoping, and waiting. So this sighting, in the Western Ghats, made me extremely happy. 🙂
Painted Ladies are the most widely distributed butterfly: found on every continent except for Antarctica and Australia, they’re so ubiquitous even halfway across the world, in a continent I was totally unfamiliar with, they were the sole butterfly I managed to identify in Jordan. This individual was spotted at the other end of the continental plate, in the Himalayas; you can see its long, thin proboscis feeding on the orange flower that just happens to complement the subtle colors on its wings. Sometimes Nature selects her palette perfectly.
I first saw a blue pansy in the butterfly field guide I picked up on a whim at a stall from our local nature society. It captivated me: I found the brilliance of its colors, elegance in its wings immensely attractive, and vowed to see it in Singapore.
It would be years (well, two) before I clapped eyes on it there – finally, it was at a carpark, of all places, in a patch of grass that tawny costers and pansies, amongst others, had decided to colonize in unusually dense numbers on an unusually hot day. (Then again, this is Singapore we’re talking. Everyday is unusually hot.)
In Bangalore, however, I was walking one day when I noticed a ragged individual in a bush. It was a happy experience, to say the least – surreal, the fact that something that pretty was right there.
And then, predictably, I found it everywhere from then on. Ah well. I’m not complaining.