butterflies in the forest

It is early in the rainy season and the forests are lush with new growth. Flower petals and fruits are dropping to the forest floor, no doubt luring in the butterflies. They are everywhere on the trail, congregating in  patches of sunlight that pierce the canopy, scattering through branches above. Most are visible as a prism of color fleeing along the trail before me. Some float as if lighter than air, the delicate flutter of their wings like a falling leaf carried on a light breeze. Others dart across the forest floor, racing from one dapple of sunlight to the next.

A blue-striped swallowtail shimmers under the sun at the edge of the forest, hovering for a sip of nectar but rarely stopping for a rest. Blues, greens and browns seem to be the popular forest butterfly colors, though some are creamy-white. Depending on the angle of reflected sun, some have a metallic flash that pulsates blue to green, or violet to blue as they flutter through the sun’s rays.  Some with dazzling white bars and spots, and almost always something new I haven’t seen before.

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