'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Once in a Blue Moon

Wow!  What a treat!  Just a short while ago I was doing the dishes. Directly outside the window there is a huge port wine magnolia, and sucking nectar from one of the tiny, sweet flowers, was the hugest, blackest butterfly I have never seen in my life before!
I grabbed my camera and luckily it had not fluttered too far and was sipping from a daphne by the front door.





I took those two shots above and then, blow me down, I could hardly believe my eyes, because when the angle of its wings changed, the conspicuous white spots were suddenly ringed with the most gorgeous bright blue.  Heavenly! For a few seconds I thought it had somehow and magically disappeared and another butterfly had taken its place! You can tell by the abundance of exclamation marks that I haven't been so surprised and delighted in a long time.

Apparently it is a very occasional visitor to New Zealand from Australia, and probably doesn't breed here. It was a male Hypolimna bolina (nerina), called the Common Eggfly butterfly (what a pathetic name for such a beauty) in Aussie, and the Blue Moon butterfly here.
My day is made.




6 comments:

  1. We have some very nice big Swallowtails here; they even occasionally land on us. Otherwise we used to have a very large moth that dined on nectar from the tobacco plants.... no tobacco plants any more, so no huge moths.

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  2. It is a beauty serendipity but very welcome.

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  3. There is something magical about seeing a beautiful creature that one has never seen before and may well never see again.

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  4. Wonderful! Years ago my class raised some endangered Richmond Birdwing caterpillars and successfully released two beautiful butterflies. Such an uplifting experience, butterflies are very special aren't they?

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  5. Thanks Bob.
    Ah, swallowtails Cro - I remember them from a book I grew up with.
    Adrian, even the owners have never seen these here apparently. What luck!
    Geeb - exactly. I've been to the Thames Butterfly house, and the one in the Dunedin Museum, but this was a REAL one.
    Helsie - what a nice school project. And yes, uplifting, the perfect word.

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