Saturday, October 25, 2008

Butterflies, dead and alive

Back at Cape Tribulation it is butterfly season. It is not uncommon to see a mixed dozen in one place at the same time. The most glorious are the Ulysses, with their vibrant, metallic azure wings, but they are all gorgeous: the tiny creamy ones, the big black ones, the myriad of different blues.

It's not easy to take good photos of butterflies, as they move so fast (especially the Ulysses- fastest butterfly in the world). Often when butterflies do sit still for a minute they close their wings and hide their prettiest aspect.

When Rob found this dead Blue Triangle (what a prosaic name for something so lovely) in the carpark he called me out to take a photo of it, but its kind of raggedy and well, lifeless.


A few days later I got lucky with this live, but somewhat lazy (female Orchard?) Swallowtail, down near the beach. I was looking out for crocodiles, but was more than happy to get a couple of in-focus snaps of this beauty.


The Daintree is not the kind of rainforest that has big, showy, colourful flowers. Instead, the splashes of colour among the green are from new leaves (which emerge in cream, pink, red or purple before turning green), pale fungi in every shape and texture, lolly-coloured fruits and along the edges, the beautiful butterflies. They are like flying flowers; delicate, ephemeral, fragile and exquisite.

1 comment:

PG said...

They are incredible, even in death!