Sighted: A flutter of butterflies

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What is a group of butterflies called?

Kaleidoscope

    . Also known as a swarm, rabble or flutter.

This afternoon, my backyard looked like a butterfly-congregation, a lepidopterical interpretation of the Pemberton paragliding launch. There must have been a dozen butterflies swirling around. Swarming, apparently, is the technical word.  My 2 year old wanted to touch touch touch. “I don’t think you’ll be able to get close enough,” I said, “but you can try. If you’re really quiet and gentle, you never know.” Next thing I know, he’s standing stiller than I thought a toddler was capable of, with a swarm of butterflies flitting all around him.

If I needed any further proof that the world is full of Some Kind of Wonderful, I opened my email tonight to these photos from John Tschopp. “Not a bird,” he apologised, to his mailing list, “but it has wings.” Coincidence? Well, that just seems a boring intepretation.

I believe these (and my visitors) are Swallowtail Butterflies.

Take note that this year’s Breeding Bird Survey for Pemberton will take place June 13. Save the date.

And have a kaleidescopic week.

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