forest sprites

Floating down from high in the canopy on a barely perceptible updraft, Cymothoe beckeri rests on a leaf overhead.

A light mist drifted through the forest, the leaves reflecting the gray sky as if waxed and polished. Far off in the forest, a flock of dwarf hornbills whined and whistled their odd, intertwined melodies, punctuated by chirps and twitters of birds high in the towering trees. No doubt they are alert to my progress.

Aterica galene (left) and Bebearia chilonis dry their wings in the diffuse sunlight of the forest understory.

An opening in the canopy cast a glowing light across the trail ahead. Butterflies are drawn to this light, bouncing through the understory to alight on a glistening leaf, golden wings spread as if offering a feast of color to the heavens. Some never sit still, others attempt to hide in plain sight. Cymothoe, Euphaedra, Aterica, Graphium, names as exotic as their painted wings. I am learning the names of these fleeting forest sprites, hoping maybe they will linger when called. So far, this remains doubtful.

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