Handbags, Books...Whatever

Handbags, Books...Whatever (http://www.vickibatman.blogspot.com) is the website of Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction. Handbag lover. Avid Jazzerciser. Mah jong player. Yoga practioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Choc-aholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

@VickiBatman ~ What flits and flutters

What flits and flutters tell us

Butterflies are quite enjoyable to watch. They fly and land. Play and fight. Eat and rest. Utterly beautiful.

Recently, on my travels, Handsome and I went to a tropical butterfly conservatory. Most of them were from Malaysia which has the most species of butterflies, 1,180. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_butterflies_of_Peninsular_Malaysia/

A few pictures of the ones I could take:

But why post about butterflies, VB?

This is one of those circumstances where you tell people about something wonderful you saw and to do so, you must use descriptive words. For example, the blue one when folding his wings, shutters away the blue. I see beiges and browns making him look like a moth. Open, I see the black veining, the incredible opalescent blue.

Before I snapped the shot, he played with another butterfly. They flew at each other and dove and darted like two fighting kites. Yet, I felt they were just dancing. Joy filled me as I watched their interaction. He came to rest on the Norfolk pine (a brilliant green with stubby needles) like he was panting. I longed to stroke him and take in his velvet. But couldn't. The docent said touching them removes their version of skin cells.

I also observed a large beige male moth. This guy stayed in a cocoon for 360 days and after hatching, only lived for 4 or 5 more. He does emerge at the large size. His antenna were fatter than the butterfly's slender ones. He rested on a feeding dish, not moving, rarely closing his wings. Knowing he would pass soon made hurt and sadness move in my chest.  

Many years ago, Handsome went to Malaysia for a speaking engagement. He brought back this:

Sometimes, description is about the details. It's about using the right words to paint a picture for the reader. Do you notice the tiny things or the big picture?


Rayne Golay said...

Your descriptions of these ephemeral little lives are beautiful. I love butterflies, the symbol of metamorphosis when we humans shed our chrysalis to grow into the beautiful beings we're meant to be.

Patricia said...

Don't laugh, but I used to be scared of butterflies for most of my life. Can you imagine? I remember, too, that my mom locked me out of the house in the backyard once because I was afraid of the monarch butterflies and wanted to hide inside the house! I was terrified. I'm pretty fine with them these days but it took many many years! They are indeed beautiful but I still think they're kind of creepy.

vicki batman said...

Hi, Rayne! I'm so happy you stopped by. Your analogy is spot on too. Once, I went to another aviary and they had a butterfly nursery. The cocoons were pinned to a board. The butterfly emerged and rested, flapping its wings. After a bit, they flew into the aviary. Awesome.

Hi, Patricia! I can't imagine being afraid of butterflies. Sometimes, they fly around one's head and that's bothersome. At this particular aviary, one white with black stripes landed on my head. A group of children laughed. I hoped it didn't poop. lol

Kathleen Baldwin said...

Love butterflies! This was a fun post. Wow what a collection he brought back.

vicki batman said...

Hi, Kat! I wish everyone could have had the experience I had. I've been in several butterfly aviaries and one hummingbird. The upclose experience is so worthwhile. The last thing I expected Handsome to bring home was the butterfly pictures. They are still vibrant and I enjoy looking at them. Malaysia has the most species of butterflies.

Lani said...

Oh, what a great post! So much fun to read about butterflies, and LOVED the descriptive words.

Hmm, for me it really depends on if I look at the big picture or the details. For my finances, i'd rather not look at the big picture. But I have to! Hee-hee!

vicki batman said...

Hi, Lani! I had an interesting time really examining the butterflies up close. They were large too; so I could really look at their spectacular colors and the veining on their wings. Their bodies are different from moths.

Janie Emaus said...

Beautiful butterflies!

Emerald said...

I love butterflies indeed! I've volunteered as a docent like the one you reference at a local seasonal butterfly exhibit for several years. (Thank you for not touching the butterfly, by the way—sometimes people ignore that rule, but we really can hurt them very easily if we touch them. :)) I don't know what kind of moth you saw, and I don't know enough about moth species in general to identify to which ones this applies, but I do know that some moths simply emerge from their cocoons without a mouth. It's just not part of their necessary anatomy as an adult. They did all the eating they needed to as caterpillars and have stored that energy, and now their job is to take the several days they have as a moth and mate. That's a big reason some of the large moths especially don't move around very much. It takes a lot of energy, and they have a limited supply and don't want to do it if it's not necessary.

Also, Patricia, I have seen people, both adults and children, who find being in the midst of so many flying butterflies disquieting or even frightening. I can appreciate how it can feel unnerving to have things flying around you if you're not used to it or just don't like that circumstance. I personally feel that way in the water—being in the water with things swimming around me feels considerably disturbing to me. Also, I, too, was afraid of almost anything flying at or near or around me when I was a child—including ladybugs, which I loved when they weren't flying. :)

I was already enjoying this post when I was struck by your inquiry, Vicki, about whether we see details or the "big picture." I just finished a story last week in which the main characters overtly have that very conversation! (One tends to see one, the other, the other.) Thanks for sharing this!

vicki batman said...

Hi, Janie, yes they are beautiful. But my pix don't do them justice.

Hi, Emerald! How exciting you have been a docent. That is so interesting about the moth. The docent told me that particular moth was kept away from the females, probably because of mating. So interesting that some moths just mate and die.

When at the aviary, I really wanted to absorb the whole enchilada. It was so beautiful and a moment not to forget. So I really looked at everything to make a good imprint and being a writer, had to think with descriptive words.

Emerald said...

I just want to say that as staff and volunteers at the butterfly exhibit, we *really* love it (or at least I do!) when people come in and truly appreciate the butterflies and the opportunity to see them like that. So I've found it really heartening to read of your experience. :)

Angela Adams said...

Not only are butterflies beautiful, they're a sure sign of Spring. Thanks for the post.

Melissa Keir said...

My class a couple of years ago went to a butterfly garden. It was fun to watch the butterflies land on the children's heads and hands. Those dances that they did were beautiful. I can't imagine not being able to enjoy nature. Just yesterday two sandhill cranes were walking across the playground. We stopped and watched them as they walked slowly away. What a blessing!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Vicki,
That was so interesting, some of the butterly colours are gorgeous.



Ashantay said...

I've visited several butterfly exhibits and always leave with a sense of well-being. Also saw a Luna Moth near my workplace once - just gorgeous! Thanks for the photos and observations.

Mary Tate Engels said...

Butterflies - such sweet, sad stories. Their beauty is breathtaking. What flits & flutters around our Sunset Patio are hummingbirds! Highly energetic & entertaining. I go for the small, interesting stuff.
Mary Tate

vicki batman said...

Hi, Emerald! And I appreciate having a docent to talk with.

Hi, Angela! I know, spring is here and the butterflies are out now in my part of the U.S. It is fun to look for the various varieties too. Hugs.

Hi, Margaret! Thank you. I really debated about posting about butterflies. Then I just went for it. :)

Hi, Ashantay! I think the luna moth is the one the docent told me about. I'll have to check. Hugs.

Hi, Mary Tate Engels! Handsome just bought a book on hummingbirds after our visit to my sister's . They had put up several feeders and a couple of varieties were fat and happy. So were the cardinals too. Thank you for visiting.

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