We really are spoilt for choice when it comes to exploring the natural world. In all corners of the globe there are endless opportunities to investigate and consider different elements of nature and the wonderful ways in which they are all connected.
At a place like Londolozi, where the environment is well protected and encouraged to thrive, the guiding team have to continue to broaden our interests and expand our knowledge in order to deliver a well-rounded experience for our guests. While our training syllabus is incredibly thorough, there is always more for us to learn. During this period of lockdown, I managed to find a new area of exploration in the world of butterflies.
A few months ago, I was lucky enough to host a guest that had a keen interest in butterflies.
At the time, I was able to identify and explain a some of the more common species in the area but my knowledge on these insects was not of any astounding depth. It was late-summer, a superb time of the year for butterflies, and during his short stay I was able to learn a few more species and interesting facts about them. I slowly started to pay a bit more attention to these creatures as they fluttered about during the following days until I went on leave – an extended leave as it turned out, due to the current pandemic. However, upon returning home I quickly realised that my garden was also filled with butterflies. With a fair amount of time on my hands, I started walking through the garden each day identifying and observing these fascinating creatures.
‘Butterflying’ can be rather challenging at times for a couple of reasons. They don’t tend to stay still for long. They fly around in an erratic manner making it difficult to keep an eye on them, especially if they are at a distance through binoculars, and even harder to get an idea of what they actually look like, apart from their general colour scheme which isn’t always enough to get a correct I.D. My camera has been handy in this regard as I tried my best to capture a photo in the brief time they spend perched on a flower or leaf. In addition to this, different species of butterflies can look incredibly similar and can also appear different depending on the area you find yourself in and the current season – similar to birds but I can assure you, a lot harder!
So far, since midway through March I have been able to identify just over 40 species of butterfly in the region of my home in KwaZulu-Natal which I have come to learn is quite a hotspot for butterflies in the country. There is plenty still learn about these interesting insects but I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a few more species and they have definitely helped me stay connected to nature during this time away from Londolozi.
Filed under Wildlife
I am really not good identifyimg butterflies and to photograph them is a nightmare. I love watching them as it is the small things that give the most pleasure.
With so much attention on the “big stuff” we forget the little things.
I once stopped at a reserve that was very proud (of all things) of it’s dung beetles. And they were right, fascinating creatures. I am working to make my garden as bee and butterfly friendly as possible
Thank you, Chris. My husband and I know hardly anything about Butterflies, but they are so beautiful we would love to learn more. If you have time / inclination to share your knowledge with us we would love it! Wendy and Neil
Butterflies- one of the most fascinating insects, in my opinion, in nature. Watching an adult fluttering, we’re hard pressed to believe the origin of this creature was in the form of a cocoon before it debuted. Where I live it’s a great day when I am fortunate enough to spot a Monarch Butterfly, so I’ve a bit of envy to learn how many you spotted in your neighborhood.
Chris, what a wonderful blog today, catching the sight of butterflies!
Beautiful butterflies! We have some beautiful butterflies here too in the USA. Thanks for sharing.
Africa has so many beautiful butterflies, I love their colors and to watch them flit about. sadly in the city where live there are not many butterflies. However one year we took our eldest grandson to the butterfly reserve in Raleigh. it was fascinating and we spent a lot of time there. when you left you went thru one door band stood for a minute while a slight breeze made sure you were note hiding a butterfly on you person or on your hair. all the butterflies fly freely so it is a good rule. Thanks for your experience. Victoria
Very cool post – I love watching butterflies, they are so graceful! I was lucky enough to visit a Monarch Migration spot and see millions of them at once – amazing!
I try photographing butterflies with very limited success. But I keep trying.
Beautiful … now you need to get into macro photography!
Amazing, I would like to also try and improve my butterfly identification skills! The species I see in Cape Town are mainly monarchs, garden acreas, citrus swallowtails and browns, though I have seen table mountain prides too.
Butterflies are beautiful no questioned asked, these colors and patterns are special in there own way. I love butterflies but I have to say my all time favorite is the Yellow Pansy the Yellow is bright and its so tiny.
I always get excited when I see a butterfly, they are a wonderful symbol of transformation.
During this time, my family and I have been able to enjoy extended walks and noticed so many butterflies that none of us had seen before. Your account of how difficult they are to observe and identify rings absolutely true in our experience!! Great pictures and well done!!
One of the greatest photo set I have seen. Thanks for dedicating it to butterflies. Some migrate for such long ways and cross countries
Fabulous shots Chris, we have a super variety on the small island of Malta but non as colorful as these.
Chris, Thanks so much for your great images of the butterflies! You are right – it’s not easy to catch a good image! Nice work!
Butterfly brighten up the ecosystem and they come in all shapes & colours.