Orange butterfly on a cloth by apples
Nature and wildlife,  Nature Photo Challenge,  Themed galleries

Gallery: the wings of the butterfly

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun

And find your shoulder to light on,

To bring you luck, happiness and riches

Today, tomorrow and beyond.

An Irish blessing

Butterflies are delicately beautiful. Their colours brighten our gardens, our parks and our wilder spaces. They live for only a few days, yet in that time they pollinate our flowers and lift our spirits.

The almost magical metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly led to them being regarded in many cultures as symbols of transformation, freedom, and rebirth. And what can be more transformational than this: Chaos theory tells us that something as tiny as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can have a ripple effect that ultimately leads to a typhoon halfway around the world.

More poetically, these fluttering wings mean that butterflies have been seen as ethereal or heavenly messengers, heralds of good fortune and happiness. The Siksika (Blackfoot) Native Americans believe butterflies bring dreams and inspiration, while the Ancient Greeks gave them the same name as the soul, psyche.

For Denzil’s Nature Challenge this week I bring you a selection of butterflies from around the world. I’ve named those I know but otherwise deliberately not researched and identified the species. This may be a nature challenge, but today I’d rather simply immerse myself in their beauty rather than play the amateur scientist!

Some have appeared before but I’ve tried to mix it up a bit and at least show you different shots of the same butterfly!

Butterflies are but flowers that blew away one sunny day when Nature was feeling at her most inventive and fertile.

George Sand
Orange butterfly on a broken branch

Baronet butterfly seen on our jeep safari in Bardia NP, Nepal

[the same butterfly is showing an interest in our picnic in my feature photo!]

Yellow butterfly on yellow flowers

Common grass yellow, Tiger Tops Karnali, Bardia NP, Nepal

Orange butterfly on a blade of grass

At a roadside restaurant by a lake in Nepal

Butterfly on orange flowers

Tithorea in the butterfly dome, Selvatura Park, near Monteverde, Costa Rica

[there are more photos from here in my earlier post about Selvatura]

Orange, black and white butterfly on a leaf

Monarch butterfly, also in the Selvatura butterfly dome

Pale green butterfly on a part-eaten leaf

In the nature reserve at Lagarta Lodge, Costa Rica

Vivid blue butterfly

Blue Morph in Belize

Yellow flowers with butterfly

Butterfly on bougainvillea near Cayena Beach Villas, Colombia

This is a different shot of the same butterfly we spotted on the beach walk I described very recently

Blue and beige butterfly on yellow flowers

Junonia orithya or Blue Pansy, in Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan

This one I did research as it’s so striking!

Delicate butterfly on a concrete wall

Spotted on a wall at the West Sea Barrage in Nampo, North Korea

(the barrage is the pride of North Korean engineering!)

Butterfly on a leaf in sunshine

Flitting around the courtyard of the Quiet American Bar in Hoi An, Vietnam

Butterfly on a spray of white flowers

Red Admiral on white buddleia in Norfolk, England


Do share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you! And please include your name in case WP marks you 'anonymous' - thank you