Blue Blood Butterflies and The Right To Safety

Posted: June 21, 2009 in butterflies, macro photography











Note on photo above: The royal butterfly decided it was above me… and it was.  Like at least half a metre.  I got the above shots by *actually* lifting the camera away from my face while trying to look roughly through the viewfinder from the distance so that it would be closer to this uppity little butterfly.

Royal butterflies are difficult little royal things.  The chocolate royal persistently sits in little leaf boats and stares at me out of its emerald eyes.  I can't think of the butterfly whose name sounds more like Magnum ice cream than this little fella.

Note on photo above:  This is not what I would normally pass as a good photo but I just like the way the shadowy red hue from the flowers falls on the butterfly while its iridescent tail glimmers in the shade.

Small Reprieve

I had a reprieve from working after putting my nose to the milestone for several 12 hour days so I ran out like a madwoman into the embrace of Nature before I lost my mind. 

Note on photo above: My favourite setting of the peacock royal.  Beautiful red flowers, green background and pretty butterfly.   












Blue Blood Butterflies

By some amount of fate, a lot of the butterflies were some kind of royal: Chocolate royal, felder's royal and peacock royal,  They were all not particularly common as far as I've seen.  This is the first time I've seen a peacock royal and a chocolate royal.  I've been tracing the felder's royal at a site for some time already and was just waiting for a better shot.

Note on photo above: Oops… Her highness has a little snip on her left wing.  Aww…










Note on photos above: I went back to the sanctuary of the Great Helen but she was nowhere to be found. 

We did find the mis-identified maybe caltoris (but no markings) and maybe quedara skipper who made us dizzy taking rounds on different orange flowers) 

The Funniest Sight

Just when I thought the Great Helen would not appear, Yoda of the butterflies went stomping around a tall tree at least about 4 or 5 times his height.  As I watched the top of his hat and green backpack go round, I suddenly saw the huge slow moving hynoptic wings of the Great Helen hovering above him in the branches of the tree, the hynoptic patches blinking away slowly.

I shouted to him but as soon as he came back around, she disappeared over the treetops like a ghost. 

Note on photo above: Indeed, the pink flowers were not popular with royalty but they seemed to work well with the commonfolk butterflies.


Note on photo above: This is one velvety, luxuriously coated butterfly.  Such a pretty thing.  Unfortunately, I scared it away before Yoda could get a parallel shot of it thanks to all the foliage being more or less connected in the thick of the brush.  One step and trees and bushes around you shake dramatically.

Note on photo above:  I went back to look for my cream and custard butterfly (ambon onyx) but I found bigg's brownie in numbers.  And none of my adorable little ommph ommph-faced apeflies.  They are somewhat related.  I always think of the bigg's brownie as the taller, slenderer sister of the stout, short necked little impish apeflies.

Right To Wander, Right To Safety

I had wanted to try to trace the Plane (a butterfly with a really really long tail) along a different trail and asked Yoda if he wanted to come along.  When we were just at the start of the trail, we heard voices of men shouting inside the woods, creating a raucous.

Not wanting to collide with trouble, we turned around and left.

But I can't tell you how angry I am at situations where I've had to choose safety and turn away.  It's not that I wanted to choose otherwise.  Because getting away should always be paramount.

But I hate to have to choose.  Everyone should have the right to wander.  And everyone should have the right to safety.  Whether they are men or women.  But the with the crimes of gang rape and robbery and murder rising during these difficult times, rights are merely figments of a society which only exists in the books of idealistic writers and not in my real world where people will tell you that you deserved it if you are a woman and decided to wander in supposedly 'dangerous' places.

You Get What You Give, You Get What You Choose To Live With

The problem about people accepting that the woman deserves it if she wanders in 'dangerous places' is that they get exactly that.

It becomes a right of murderers and rapists to lie in wait in nooks and corners for victims.  Most of the time the people who say that the woman deserves it never imagined that they or their family might one day be the victims.

Where's the grey line that says whether a place is considered as dangerous or not?  It might one day be the quiet carpark at your workplace.  It might one day be the children's playground near your block.  It might one day be the street just outside your house in the dead of night.

But people choose to say that the victims deserve it instead of doing something to bring across the message that everybody has a right to safety.

If a place is deemed to be unsafe because it looks a potential spot for crime, do something about it to make it safer.  Have patrols.  Have better lighting.  Have we got nowhere the past centuries that we dare to admit that we don't know what to do about potential crime spots?

Note on photo above: These ants were hanging around in huge numbers cracking away like rice krispies.  I have never heard or seen anything like this.  For a while I squinted at them, not sure if they were really ants.

It Always Come Around

The same thing applies to everything else in life.  When we agree to unreasonable standards, our choices create the kind of world we have to live in.

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  1. WOW WOW WOW!!!!! My favorite is the Peacock Royal. Holy Cow!!!!! Beautiful photos. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Waterbaby says:

    Ewwww, the close-up of the ants kinda creeps me out! Maybe that bit on TV recently about fire ants devouring flesh is too fresh in my mind. Hahaha about the auntie on the train.

  3. Waterbaby says:

    Ewwww, the close-up of the ants kinda creeps me out! Maybe that bit on TV recently about fire ants devouring flesh is too fresh in my mind. Hahaha about the auntie on the train.

  4. Oooh… fire ants… wouldn't wanna be anywhere near them (for their terrible bite actually)… ACKS! Ants have been featured in too many films as things that gnaw through your skin and eat you from the inside…

  5. Waterbaby says:

    Exactly! There's a show called "I Shouldn't Be Alive" featuring survivors of catastrophes out in nature (usually remote places like mountains and rivers where the chance of rescue is close to nil). This one fellow endured a terrible ordeal on the river, including an encounter with a crocodile. As he lay on the shore under a tree of the forest with gaping gashes, passed out and approaching death's door, he was pained into consciousness by an army of fire ants devouring his raw wounds. Yooooowwwww.

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