There are fairies on earth. They flutter around flowers and tempt you to touch their vibrant wings. Butterflies are magical little creatures make your heart go pitter-patter. I looked forward to meeting lakhs of these beauties at a butterfly park after the rains. Armed with my Canon SX 60 HS, I stepped through a giant butterfly. Sounds like Alice’s wonderland?
(Tridax Procumbens, commonly known as Coat Buttons)
It was actually a butterfly shaped gate that led to paradise. I had built up plenty of patience, for the art of butterfly spotting is quite challenging. I walked down a narrow passage surrounded by lantanas, powder puffs, pink snakeweeds, coat buttons and tubular hibiscuses. Sounds like a scenery straight from an Enid Blyton book? You might almost believe it when you see these butterfly-attracting plants and their fluttery visitors.
One Spot Grass Yellow
I spotted hordes of One Spot Grass Yellow Butterflies soaring up and down like the musical notes that Mozart wove his symphonies from. They settled down on a muddy puddle to suck their morning dose of salt and amino acids.
I saw gorgeous orange-brown Plain Tiger and Tawny Coster hovering around the rain-refreshed coat button flowers. Then my eyes settled upon a black and yellow butterfly that flew in from nowhere and drank from a flower bud, then hopped from flower to flower like a slow-motion film. It was the Common Lime, a mesmerizingly beautiful creature.I noticed something unusual. A bunch of leaves was perched on lantana flowers! Then I realized that they were Common Emigrant Butterflies.
I saw a Common Pierrot whose wings reminded me of 101 Dalmatians. It seemed like the creator had taken a pristine white canvas and whimsically splattered it with black. The cute butterfly played hide and seek with me, before I finally caught him on camera.
A Black Rajah butterfly was perched on an overripe fruit. This butterfly was truly the king of all butterflies, with his wings colored in a brown and yellow pattern with bits of black, like tie-and-dye fabric and silhouette looks like a king’s crown. He was getting his dose of carbohydrates and minerals from the fruit. He was probably bored of the same old nectar. He had a full-course meal and flew away. It was already past noon. I was about to settle down on a bench, but I was distracted by a flash of red and white. It was a Crimson Tip Butterfly, who looked like he was spray-painted gray and white, with vibrant wingtips.
Then I spotted a Common Crow, except that this one had a polka dotted body and black wings bordered by white patterns. You guessed it. I am talking about a butterfly! The Common Crow settled on the Ixora flower and enjoyed a sumptuous lunch of nectar.
Humming Bird Hawk Moth (Moth Species)
Then, I saw a bird, or was it a queen bee? No, it was the Hummingbird Hawk Moth, with startling hawk-like eyes. He was quenching his thirst by drinking nectar with his straw-like proboscis.
I was distracted by a “tuk tuk tuk” birdcall. I turned in that direction and saw a bird that looked like a child had upturned poster colours on his head. That child was the creator himself, and the bird was a Coppersmith Barbet with a bright red head, a yellow throat and whimsical green streaks on his wings.
Then my eyes flew to a butterfly that wore the hues of the crimson dot on his wings. His black costume was edged with a white pattern. He was fearlessly flying above us, and the butterfly was Crimson Rose.
I sat down to refresh myself when I suddenly spotted something that reminded me of a popular saying. When life gives you lemons, look for a Lemon Pansy. Of course, I made up the last part. I had just laid eyes on the Lemon Pansy butterfly, wearing brown wings sprinkled with black and lemon yellow eyespots interspersed with stripes. He was sucking nutrients from a mud puddle which I was sure he would later transfer to his mate, to help her eggs survive.
Isn’t it incredible that every butterfly has a unique wing pattern? The wings cleverly attract the opposite sex and simultaneously confuse predators so that they’ll leave them to their private world. As I was reflecting on this, I spotted a Crimson Tip Butterfly again. It was my last sighting for the day. I half-heartedly bid goodbye to the winged wonders and flew away to my world.
Do join me when I fly back to the Butterfly Park or a bird sanctuary. Drop a hello at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +91 9790721279
Photos by Siluvai Amalan | Content Written by Niranjani Ravi & Siluvai Amalan