Our city is surrounded by low hills that's home to several varieties of flora and fauna. I was in one of these areas last Friday where lantana flourished, and where, even if you were to click with your eyes closed, a butterfly would still be captured in your frame. I've not seen this butterfly before nor can I identify those pretty blooms on that wild-looking plant. In tropical countries, lantana is invasive. It is considered to be one of the ten worst weeds in the world. It was intro- duced in India as an ornamental plant in 1809 but the conditions proved to be ideal for the plant to quickly spread all across the country.
To me, the smell of this plant reminds me of the jungle. The smell, despite being strong, is not unpleasant. And the blooms are so colourful. Wild Ipomoea. I've seen this before in the outskirts of the city. But not in places where you could admire it, and get down on your knees to photograph it. The Common Jester. My first sighting of this species. We did go around in little circles before I finally got this shot. The many colours of lantana in the wild. Is that a bird? It's a spectacular-looking swallowtail. It's called the Crimson Rose and it belongs to the genus Artrophaneura or red-bodied swallowtails. This species is found in India and Sri Lanka. About other neighbouring countries, I'm not sure. Even the common blue butterfly didn't need any terms of endearment to pose like this! Everybody's making a beeline for these blooms! A variety I don't recognize. A Cruiser lands here too! This striking yellow/black butterfly shot is blurry because a vivid orange butterfly flew past me as I got ready to shoot. You can see the blooms of the Coral tree in the background.
This is a sight(ing) I'll never forget.Among the 1500 species of butterflies in the world, more than 550 species are found in Assam.
I'd thought that I'd get to click a few species but this shows how rich our surrounding hills are. And although the lantana is considered to be a weed of the first order, the fact that it draws these beautiful insects by the hundreds, is a thought that comforts.
Glory be to God for dappled things- For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings; Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough; And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him. Gerard Manley Hopkins
The first flowering shrub I planted on our land
Every flower is a soul blooming in Nature.-Gerard De Nerval
Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself? -Henry David Thoreau