Sunday, 5 August 2007
A Big, Fluttery Butterfly
In Thailand a 'butterfly' is an unconscionable man who flits from flower to flower. Of course I've never ever been accused of being a butterfly myself, though the imagery is very much a part of teasy discourse in these parts where butteflies are universal. I'd almost forgotten the word had another meaning until I was reminded of it a couple of days ago.
Here when it's so hot and wet, everything breeds like crazy and there's a super-abundance of frogs, crabs and fish in the rice fields and the insects are quite spectacular. Apart from the biggest scorpions and poisonous millipedes I've ever seen, there are some enormous beetles with dinosaur horns and shimmering green wing casings. At night when you switch on an outside light, you can almost fill a busket with the insects that swarm and drop to the ground. Most of them you can eat, or at least they can.
Then there are butterflies of the fluttery kind, quite incredible and fortunately inedible, though the pupae found in banana leaves are often eaten.
We've just been visited by one of the biggest butterflies I've ever seen... it was like a bird as it homed in on our potted shrubs. At first attracted to the bright colours of the bourgainvillea, there was no joy there as the flowers are more like leaves and have no nectar. But there was plenty more to choose from.
Maybe it just wanted to be photographed because it kept on coming back. This was lucky because the shutter lag on my digital Pentax is so dreadfully bad that nine times out of ten it had gone by the time the shutter deigned to click. It's a horrible camera, though at least you don't have to pay for wasted film! And this time the butterfly always came back.