Lepidoptera, and their lilts…

Common five-ring

Lepidoptera, the order of insects comprising butterflies and moths, are a strange lot… not only do their physical forms metamorphose rather unrecognizably from birth to adulthood, interestingly, so does their relationship with us… the adult being an avid pollinator but the caterpillar might be an agricultural pest, although some weave silk too… ‘twas the Chinese that were piqued by the lepidoptera initially and then ended up defining the course of history, one ruminates, looking at butterflies trying to milk out the last bits of nectar from a scraggy congregation of dry shrubbery… the silkworms on one end of the spectrum, that silk road – yarn that spun the yarn of humanity as we know it today – spurring trade, culture, knowledge, war and what not, even to this day… all emanating from a mere caterpillar… and then we have Zhuangzi’s introspection on dreaming of being a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming of being Zhuangzi, at the other end… simple, and sometimes irritating, paradoxes of philosophy…  

Lepidoptera of India: Common five-ring
Common five-ring

‘Twas a sultry March afternoon that I was trying to while away, waiting for some birds to show up sitting on the periphery of the last bits farming lands that will eventually be swallowed up the insatiable appetite of a gluttonous town, when two members of the lepidoptera set in motion the above train of thought… a common five-ring skimming the ground, managing to eke out nectar from somewhere between clumps of broken lantana branches, restive till the dusk would have it rest… and a one-spot grass yellow lilting on flowers, swaying to some non-existent breeze… through the bins, one could almost detect a playfulness in those compound eyes, but that’s too much anthropomorphizing maybe… then the birds came calling, a prinia weaning me away from the butterflies… from one impatient creature to another…

One-spot grass yellow
One-spot grass yellow

Musing on butterflies, Haldwani, Uttarakhand

Author: Parth Joshi

Mountain lover ⛰️ | Hiker 🥾| Runner 🏃‍♂️ | Cyclist 🚴 | Photographer 📷... allured by the outdoors, the author is a quintessential lost soul craving nature while suffering in a desk job...

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