Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tiger Swallowtail and Monarch

I've been busy researching the history of Mission Island, the story of the land according to the local Anishnawbe nation, the treaty forced on them, and early Port Arthur and Fort William "development". As well, I have been writing a fictionalized short story of the woman who used to live in my house-- that is due tonight for my writing group, RedShoes on Court! As my house is a century old, there are many women's stories living in the walls. Well, the story that came calling literally surfaced from beneath my floors as it was the ghosts inside that May 1942 newspaper that came knocking at night! So, my story is set in the 40s, and begins in Poland, with a young woman named Halina.

Today, I am posting a butterfly photo I took last year in Mexico. There is a butterfly display / information booth set up by the Thunder Bay Field Naturalists at this weekend's Home and Garden Show. The TBFN have some beautiful photos on their website, taken by wildlife photographer and Canadan Sanomat (the Finnish language newspaper of Thunder Bay) editor, Aarre Ertolahti, who also happens to be the resident bird and butterfly expert I consult with. He's always ever-ready with his camera, as the striking photo of the owl in the back bush of his home on this week's online version of the newspaper testifies!

Above is the majestic Tiger Swallowtail that I almost stepped on, while it was motionless on the sidewalk outside my residence at the university in Cholula. I was out for my early morning walk and had just stepped off the steps, and if I hadn't been looking down, I would've have ...killed this beauty. She was quite large. It stayed there for quite some time. At first I thought it was dead. The ground was damp. But no, bending down for a closer look, I noticed an almost imperceptible movement. I don't know much about butterflies, except that their exquisite colours and erratic flight captivate. I hope to find out more if I have time to get to the Home and Garden show. Below is the Monarch Butterfly that flitted onto a dandelion in the overgrown grass of my backyard in the summer. Her polka dot body is a perfect match for her wondrous wings. Hands down, the most amazing butterfly and moth photos on the net are found on the slide show of the zip code zoo site, click on butterflies and moths. But put your feet up--there are 500 photos!

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