'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.

Go here to find out more.

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.


  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.

  2. It is a beauty serendipity but very welcome.

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

  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?

  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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