It dances through the day, full of impressions and impulses, empty of thought or care. Something moving near it casts a shadow on its sight, and it darts away without knowing why, startled but not frightened. A rival passes and it dashes at him, powerless to hurt, but bursting with nervous energy which must find an outlet, and the two in mock combat mount up into the sky until they are lost to sight.
– EHA, The Naturalist on the Prowl
|The last pond|
There are birds that dive into the puddles early in the morning – Tickel’s Blue, Red-breasted and Paradise Flycatchers, Purple Sunbirds and Booted Warblers – to bathe in its cool waters. As the air warms, the birds fly into the canopy and catch insects or sip the sweet nectar of Bombax ceiba. But it is not only the birds that make the best out of it. There are also mammals that come in the cover of the darkness, unseen to the eye, forgetfully leaving behind their footprints in the soft banks. And then there are those of the other kind with three pairs of feet, and wings bejeweled with scales of myriad shades.
Aitken, in his exceptional essay On the Prowl, made a very close analysis of a butterfly from the eyes of a wanderer. He saw through its eyes a world we cannot fathom: a simplest of the worlds – where a butterfly is for the world as much as the world is for a butterfly – small but whole.
|The mud-puddling Blues and Danaines|
|Tiny Grass Blue|