Sunday, August 8, 2010

What is Missing? The elusive "Blue Morpho" Butterfly , August 7th, 2010

Blue morpho butterflies are found in the tropical rainforests of Indonesia, and South America. Their numbers have been depleted with the loss of habitat, and because their beauty is so rare, the Japanese collectors pay tribes people and provincial folk to take pupae, or the cocoons, that once matured  will turn their occupants into beautiful creatures. These blue morpho butterflies lie at the floor of the rainforest and are camoflaughed because the back of their wings are dark to blend in with the forest, but once they fly upwards, the beating of their wings attract the eyes to the flashing indicacent color of their blue wings.

video

We have some blue butterflies in Silang too, and I was excited to photograph even one. Blue butterflies are very rare, and they come in all types, from swallowtails, to the common cabbage butterflies. I was delighted to see this tiny local "banded blue butterfly" flying by and landing on my Ixora plant.

The Elusive Banded Blue Butterfly
One of the most noticeable effects of urban sprawl are the stripping away of the landscape. Bulldozers come in for months to scrape off the top soil, uproot trees, and strip everything in the effort to flatten the grounds to make way for roads and subdivide lots. The immediate change in the climate is apparent, but  the signs of a depleted environment are more evident when I  realize the experiences I had as a child ,  can no longer share with my grandsons.


The old swing from Loyola Heights where
my father and I would sit and watch
the fireflies at night.
When I was a child, my father would take me out at night to see the fire flies. These are magical insects that glow in the dark and I would catch some and place them in jars so I could look at them more closely, then let them go.

We had this old swing were I could sit across from my Dad and it would be humid right after a rain. I knew nothing about fire flies, but a few tiny specks of light would float by, but the sight became spectacular once my father would request all the lights to be shut off so I could see the glowing little fire flies. The night would be lit with tiny twinkling lights, and I could reach out my hand to touch them, and to play with them as they were attracted to the salt on our sweaty arms.

Another missing element are tiny green frogs, about an inch long, and these would be jumping about during the breaks of the monsoon rains.  These tiny frogs lay their eggs with a white foamy mix of their own body fluids in  the puddles formed by stagnant water. In just two weeks these tiny frogs are jumping everywhere!


One Inch  Tiny Frog Is Full Grown
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