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A garden enthusiast who loves to travel and capture the beauty of places and freeze the memories of her travels in photographs, as well as document her experiences in verse...thankful for the simple pleasures in life.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A tiger, lace, and the blue moon - clip! clip!

In the pale light of the blue moon,
the tiger with glassy eyes
behind the wild grasses hide

The foliage of the undergrowth
gleams grey, and ghostly
screens the tiger with 
a lacy veil

Need you hide,
you, with all your might?
What secrets lie 
beneath the bold stripes?
Have your claws been clipped
 your vision suffered?
Or are you waiting to pounce
when the time is right?

Tiger, oh Tiger, do not fear,
 emerge from the shadow of your veil
from the cover of the night 
of the pale moonlight
and strike!

(For the Poetry Palace, Poets' Rally Week 51)

What does the tiger have to do with lace and how does the blue moon get into the picture? As you can see from the first sub-heading, we are dealing with butterflies, and we shall look into the names of these exotic tropical winged 'fairies'. To me, that's what they are...fairies in our gardens.

Malayan Lacewing
Cethosia hypsea hypsina

This beautiful creature is a nymphalid butterfly found in the rainforests of Southeast Asia.


The wingspan of the adult butterfly is 80mm; it is not a large butterfly, but oh, so attractive. It is the underside of the wings of the butterfly that we can see when it rests with its wings folded up. It is this spectacular design, orange-red with a black scalloped border, that distinguishes the butterfly.The white lace-like pattern marking the wing borders is what gives the butterfly its name. A beautiful name...the lacewing butterfly!

The Yellow Glassy Tiger
Parantica aspasia aspasia

The two patches of bright lemony yellow on the hindwings make this butterfly rather attractive. It usually rests hanging on a twig with its wings folded. Fortunately I caught this one on the ground, so its wings were beautifully spread open for the eye of the camera to document every detail of the pattern. The blue patches and the black background combine so well with the yellow contrasting accent. 

It is a medium-sized butterfly, smaller than the Malayan Lacewing, having a wingspan of only about 60-75mm. You don't need to wonder any more why it is named after a yellow tiger if you look closely at the photograph below. The Yellow Glassy apt name has the black and yellow stripes of a Malayan tiger, and the wing seems to be designed for a stained glass window display. That is how I think it got its name.

This photo is entered for Live Every Moment's Photo Challenge; prompt: Lighting.

The Clipper
Parthenos sylvia

This is another species of nymphalid butterfly that is found in Southeast Asia, usually in forested areas. It is said to have a flying mode which could be described as 'clipped'. The wings only flap a few degrees up and down while in flight.I am assuming that is why it is named the Clipper. Correct me if I am wrong. Nevertheless, this apparent disability doesn't impede its speed - it can fly pretty fast!

I enjoyed my dalliance with this particular fella in the photograph. It kept landing on this metallic bar, and for hours, I kept returning to that spot to try and get it to fly somewhere else, among the flowers preferably, but it was adamant. Refused to budge. I guess it felt safe, camouflaged there. 

I found a bolder one which had settled on some green couldn't be the same fella, could it? They all look alike to me. Oh, and one interesting thing about this species is that the markings of both the male and the female are alike. The male is only slightly larger than the female.

The Great Eggfly/ Blue Moon
Hypolimnas bolina

This species is found not only in Southeast Asia, but also in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. It has a wingspan of 70-80mm. 

This is the male, which has no resemblance to the female. The upper side of the male has three pairs of white patches upon a black background.The white patches have a rim of bluish purple iridescence, each looking pretty much like a blue moon against  a dark night sky! I believe that's why it is known as Blue Moon.


Here you can see both the male and the female. The male is in the foreground, and hiding behind him is the female. Her upper side is brown in colour and she does not have any white patches like the males have.

This concludes my conjectures as to how the butterflies got their names! 
I have managed to identify almost all of the  butterflies which I photographed at the Melaka Butterfly Sanctuary, except for a few species. The four butterflies in the collage below, are unknown to me. If any of you out there can identify them, please do leave me a comment. 

I yearn to know you
your true self reveal to me
 peel off painted mask 

(For Haiku Heights #67)

Linking to:

Haiku My Heart
Haiku Heights
Weekend Flowers
Macro Flowers Saturday
Fabulous Friday
Mosaic Monday
Macro Monday
Mellow Yellow Monday

Thursday Poets Rally
Poetry Pantry
Poetry Train Revisited
Share The Joy Thursday

Today's Flowers


Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Auckland Domain

I was going through my photographs which I took during my three weeks' visit to New Zealand last year, and was surprised to discover that I had not featured a few botanic gardens in full. I had merely combined some photographs from different botanic gardens which were featured in posts under the subject of garden design, and garden ornaments, etc. There were lots and lots of photographs of each particular garden that were not shared, lying in cold storage in my hard disk. How remiss of me. And what a was like paying a second visit to those remarkable gardens all over again!

So, here we go...let's start with North Island, in Auckland, to be precise, the first city we flew in to, for the start of our self-drive holiday. I had previously featured in full the Fo Guang Shan Temple Garden in Auckland, under the post heading, Temple Garden of Peace and Harmony. Now I'm going to cover an even bigger garden, all 75 hectares, of the Auckland Domain...the oldest, largest, and most diverse park in all of Auckland. However what is most fascinating to me is that this domain is actually around the rim of a crater of a volcano! I was glad to find out, though, that the Pukekawa  is an extinct volcano, so we were on solid, non-shaky ground.

I really do not know where to start; this tour is going to be quite random...I'll be darting from one end to another and probably go criss-crossing and zig-zagging all over the place. Just bear with me. I always get excited where there are so many beautiful flowers and lovely scenery.

You have to see the Wintergardens first. It is a protected heritage site.

There are two glasshouses - one for temperate plants, and the other for tropical plants.

You can see what I mean about the lovely flowers...I take photo after photo, darting here and there pretty much like a bumble bee after some choice nectar.

(For Sensational Haiku Wednesday)

count all your blessings 
numbers one to one  hundred
fragrant flowers smile

In between the two glasshouses is this enclosed courtyard. There is a huge waterlily pond here, and of course the Grecian statues add to the charm of this courtyard.

revelation of life
hidden under surface calm
roots strain to anchor

Haiku Heights - Prompt "hidden"

Outside, there are more lovely images for the lens to capture. Century-old trees, native flowers amidst large bushes, white roses, skies, and nothing but blue skies.

As I approach the top of Domain Hill, I can see the Auckland Museum, an impressive building of  neo -Greek architecture.

Walking towards the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, I catch a glimpse of the blue sea beyond. I quicken my steps as I know that's where there's more beauty to capture. And I was right, here they are... the panoramic views of Waitemata Harbour, Auckland City and Whenua Rangatira.


A Summer Vacation
(for Poetry Picnic)

A salute to the beaming sun
for his gregarious, golden glow
A hearty jubilation
for the mesmerising ebb and flow 
of the throbbing, rhythmic sea

A tribute I joyfully sing out loud
dedicated to the azure skies,
the billowy clouds, 
the flirtatious breeze
whispering endearments in my ears

I am brimming with bliss,
not a care, just peace
in my heart
there's the warmth of a summer's touch  

Linking to:
Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Watery Wednesday
Thursday Poets' Rally
Haiku Heights (Prompt #66)
Haiku My Heart
Fertilizer Friday
Skywatch Friday
Poetry Picnic
Weekend Flowers
Macro Friday
Macro Flowers Saturday
Today's Flowers