Till death us do part

Once again, I am intrigued and fascinated by the habits of the little creatures of this world.  Yesterday, I noticed two butterflies – Cabbage White Butterfly – mating on the leaves of the pumpkin vine.  I raced off to get the camera, expecting they’d be gone by my return, but no, they were….umm…. otherwise occupied and in the same place, and paid me no attention.  170.JPGre

In all my years of gardening, I confess I hadn’t noticed butterflies mating before, and so I watched them for a while, wondering how long the …. um…. process would take.

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Every so often, another white butterfly would approach the couple, and there would be a flurry of wings, and the intruder would leave.  Sadly, I wasn’t able to capture a clear shot of this activity.  Mostly this pair were fairly still, with just a little er… quiver every now and then.  Eventually, I needed to get on with my own jobs, and I left them to continue in private 🙂

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Today, I found two joined butterflies on the ground near the house.  It looked like the pair from yesterday.  Ants were attacking them, and so I moved the butterflies to an other spot.  004.JPGre

The one on the left was not moving. At all.  The other one, while quite tattered, was still active.  015.JPGcrre

Just look at that sweet face!

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And there was no letting go, nope, not at all……..

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I placed them in the pot containing the herb thyme.  And that’s where they both came to the end of their time……

I was intrigued by this, and went looking for some information….yes, here’s a portion of what Wiki has to say:

“Many lepidopteran species, after mating and laying their eggs, die shortly afterwards, having only lived for a few days after eclosion.”

It’s a very long article, confirming that these are fascinating creatures.  “The earliest known fossil lepidopteran is Archaeolepis mane from the Jurassic, about 190 million years ago in Dorset, UK.[93” I reckon that’s pretty amazing 🙂

In case you’re wondering, yes, this is the butterfly form of the caterpillar that eats holes in the leaves of cabbages, etc, which, by the way, I have growing next to the pumpkin plants.  No, I do not squash or otherwise kill any grubs, caterpillars, that I find eating the plants.  I simply observe.  Or I may give the plant an extra dose of liquid fertiliser just to give it a boost.  If the plant doesn’t recover from the ‘attack’ I conclude that the plant wasn’t healthy in the first place, and I’m better off not consuming it myself later on.  In this instance, the plants aren’t all that healthy, as I’m still in the process of feeding the soil, having only recently moved to this place.  By next season I’m hoping the soil will be in a better condition, and in the meantime, I’ll observe 🙂  and take photos 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Till death us do part

  1. Enivea, This is another intriguing series of photographs showcasing the beauty and detail of creatures often seen but seldom examined. It is a pity to see them so tattered and lifeless before the eggs could be laid for a new generation.

    • I was disappointed to find them the next day like that also…. but there’s nothing sentimental about Nature. It is what it is.

  2. I’ve never seen one of these butterflies land, let alone stay in one spot long enough to photograph! You had the perfect timing for these beautiful photos. Some of nature is sad, but it is the way of life and intriguing to observe.

    • The trick with photographing butterflies, is to simply wait for one to land nearby, as chasing them never pays dividends! That said, yes, I was lucky with these two staying put. Thanks for dropping by Clover 🙂

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