Sofia and her red biro

Sofia and biro
The beautiful Sofia, stretching her wings on the red biro from which she was suspended. She was transferred to this Asian maple tree on the morning of her emergence after the chrysalis became noticeably darker.

Well, readers will be pleased to know that Sofia emerged from her chrysalis, “small but perfectly formed”, right on cue – ten days after she disappeared into her chrysalis (see: Little wonders (of nature) and Nature’s capacity to surprise). Continue reading

Nature’s capacity to surprise

IMG_3729Since my last post, Little wonders (of nature), I have become even more convinced of nature’s amazing capacity to enrapture and surprise. But, this story begins with sadness. Only a day after writing the last post, our household was visited by misfortune. My son misguidedly picked up the now rather plump Sofia, obviously deciding that she needed some more “contact” time. I sternly advised against doing this again, and taking Sofia, carefully returned her to a leaf. However, she remained in a curled-up position, and kept on falling off the leaf. I returned her to a leaf a couple of times before giving up, and carefully placed her on the soil in the pot, where I thought she would at least not incur any injury from further falls. My hope was that she would recover, and climb back up the plant to resume munching. Continue reading

Little wonders (of nature)

IMG_3685This was going to be a story about the introduction of a small exotic species by European settlers to New Zealand, and the possible motivations for it (since this species provides no economic benefits, as a honey bee or a sheep does, for example). However, somewhat inconveniently, I have been thwarted from doing so – by the facts!

The little creature I am talking about is the monarch butterfly (kahuku in Maori), which apparently reached New Zealand shores – not by human hand – but of its own accord, about 100 years ago. This is tremendous achievement given its size, and the distance from its native homeland, North America. Continue reading