As you may already know I have a passion for insects, especially moths and butterflies. Many years ago, I used to work at a butterfly farm and although I only worked at this establishment for a summer, it was a time I will always treasure. Working in the tropical house was hard work and keeping personal hydration and salt levels up was a necessity, as not only was the temperature very high, but the humidity was as good as 100% which meant your perspiration didn’t evaporate.
There were many beautiful butterflies flying freely, from the delicate Heliconius butterflies to the spectacular birdwings. But probably the most flamboyant and memorable butterfly is the morpho. The owl-like eyed under-wings conceal a pair of blinding iridescent blue upper-wings. A colour so vivid that in many ways it was its downfall as they were avidly collected in times gone by and the wings turned into jewellery. The colour does not fade as there is no pigment. The display is produced in the same way that a film of oil on water produces all the colours of the rainbow. Thankfully, they are no longer harvested in such a way…
Occasionally while working in the tropical house, one of these magnificent creatures would land on your head or arm. The reality was that it was after the precious salts in your perspiration. But for me it was a simple gift as I became transfixed by it’s stunning beauty. The hard work of tending the house was instantly forgotten by this brief encounter with one of God’s wonderful creations.
As this new year gets under way, I hope and pray that during the times that are tough and hard, now and again a beautiful butterfly will land on your arm and simply transfix you for a moment by the beauty of His creation.
Butterfly photos from publicdomainpictures.net, animalsbirds.com (HD free images download)