Tag Archives: butterflies

Truly remarkable moth tips up on Oxford window

MOTHS are quite something, aren’t they? They found a niche at night that butterflies occupy in the day and people insist that they’re headed for the moon which is why they bang against electric lights.

A friend of mine points out that if they were really looking for the moon, they’d carry on flying up until they’re exhausted and fall to earth, dead as a doornail. I think they’re disorientated by modern lighting – and so am I – and that’s why moths will soon be as extinct as many species of butterflies that really really need the right habitat to live.

Dunno what this species is, but it’s big, and I like it, in Olde Oxforde, long as it doesn’t get inside and I have to rescue the bloody thing.

I rediscover butterflies, in Oxford

THERE’S NOTHING like a comma, is there?  But the Comma butterfly is a beautiful butterfly and over the last two days I’ve seen a number of species I haven’t spotted for years.

Yesterday I saw a Brimstone, a beautiful Red Admiral, a Small Tortoiseshell, an Orange Tip, Fritillaries of different species I didn’t recognise and only one Large Cabbage White. They are common or garden.

A DodoAnd butterflies, when I was a kid,  weren’t isolated. True it is that you don’t see huge flocks of Red Admirals, which I did when I was a kid in Aberdeen. But there were enough of them to make me realise that if you don’t keep a bit of wild around, you end up with sterility.

You’re never far from the countryside in Oxford. Yesterday I walked up to a pub called The Perch in Binsey Lane. There’s plenty of streams on the way, and I spotted a Perch or three on the way. It’s years since I’ve seen a Skylark, I long to lie in grass again and watch and listen to these beautiful creatures as they ascend into their vertical niche, high high up,  and drop, silently, to the grasslands again. 

Buddleia bush defies gravity

AH THE LOVELY BUDDLEIA – one of the most intelligent plants in the world, bar the potato. It attracts butterflies, those lovely flying flowers that burn our brains with such bright colours!

Look how intelligent this particular Buddleia is, bang outside my front door. It’s managing to grow horizontally and I’m so vertically challenged I can easily walk underneath it.


Butterflies ain’t just for Bangalore

LOYAL READER OF THIS BOG (sic) will remember how much, when I was in Bangalore, I loved the floating flowers called butterflies – they are hard pressed in that city now what with all the demolition going on. And that.

London – described in a Channel Four Despatches documentary a couple of weeks ago as the most polluted city in Western and Eastern Europe – used to have loads of butterflies too.  When I moved there in 1973, there were Commas, Tortoise Shells, Red Admirals, Peacocks, and fritillaries of many a variety.

If you see the occasional Cabbage White these days you will be a fortunate man. But in Oxford, the butterflies still seem to be thriving. The weather has been very nice – I’ve seen Orange Tips, Peacocks, Tortoise Shells, and many of the species called Brimstone. I guess it’s because Oxford is full of green spaces, spaces which are occupied by nettles and the like, weeds to you and me.

While London is full of Borises and Johnsons and people prefer to build rather than plant. λ

There is a nice vid about Bangalore on the Examiner

KRISHNA PRASHAD has done a very good job in giving an overview of what Bangalore is like, here.

The butterflies and the trees and the dragonflies appeal to me – they’re not in this video – and the pavements (sidewalks) leave a lot to be desired. But really Bengaluru is a very fine place. It is not, however the pub capital of India. ♣

Blighty is a bit dull after Banga-banga-bangalore

I FLEW BACK from the really very wonderful international airport at Bengaluru this morning, just as the rays of dawn were illuminating Karnataka. The weather in Bangalore is great right now – the temperature is about 25° Celsius, the rains have almost stopped, and the dragonflies and butterflies are having a field day, following Diwali. The trees are flowering, the black bees (madhukara) are flying. The many mosquitoes are not as attractive for some odd reason.

The ever present Meru Cars  was my vahan of choice, swiftly speeding me towards BIAL and hence with a short hop, skip and a jump to London Heathrow.

There isn’t and hasn’t been much news about the UK in India over the last month – unless it’s to do with the weird ball game called cricket, an ever present obsession in India.

The immigration officers and security guards at BIAL are unfailingly courteous and friendly. I have said for the last few years to anyone who cares to be bored, that Indian security at airports is second to none, worldwide. Because of previous outrages, the airports check, re-check and check everything again, without ever being over officious. The security guard’s wand detected the titanium plate in my right leg – there since 1981 –  which led to a very interesting conversation about two wheelers in Bengaluru and elsewhere. The man said: “So you don’t drive motorbikes any more? You just fly planes?” I am no pilot.

Strangely, I am missing the mosquitoes. Bengaluru and most of Karnataka is not a malarial zone, and the streets are swept every morning. It’s a wonderful place. I heartily recommend it for people of a certain age, that is to say younger than I am.  And I missed Guy Fawkes night in Ole London town! And the 4th of November night in Yorkshire is called Mischievous Night. Missed that too. Sheer Bliss.

Bengaluru is full of pretty pakshas

PONDERING the roar that is new Bengaluru today, my eye spotted a bird which I’ve never seen before. It’s not the screaming one that wakes me up at 5AM, but which I spotted by accident. It’s not the raptors that fly in the sky, nor is a crow. Nor for that matter is a finch.

It is a strange bird, around the size of a British Starling, but with green wings and a brown body, and a tiny little voice. If only I had managed to snap the thing before it flew off to pastures new.

As I said last time I was in this beautiful city, if the authorities are not careful, they will destroy the trees, the plants, the butterflies and the other flora that decorate this Karnataka paradise.

Everywhere around you is the sound of trees being felled, of drills being wielded and of metal being welded. If India wants an example of what can be done to a city, it need look no further than Shanghai. I stayed there earlier this year in the Pudong “district”, and the only other living creature apart from humanoids were four forlorn sparrows.

The last thing Bengaluru needs is three more ring roads. But I would hazard a wager if such things were permitted here, that three are already planned. It’s a garden city by default, and needs to be kept that way. Which is obviously just my humble opinion. Money often wins in this world.