Sunday, 17 February 2013

Linked up

Just a footnote to yesterday's post. It's hardly an original observation, but today's linked-up world never fails to astonish and delight me. Rambling around on Google last night, in the hope of confirming my suspected Camberwell Beauty, led me to the great website iNaturalist on which I'm now signed up.

I got immediate confirmation that my guess was correct from two other members, one of them at Mexico's National Commission on the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, and so I am a happy bunny indeed.

Another side to this Internet Effect is that I suspect that it brings special excitement to those of us who are of, um, more mature years - the opposite of the usual state of things. The elderly are supposed to be cynical in the manner of Victor Meldrew; but with the web, it's the role of the young to say wearily when I'm jumping with joy: "Oh come on Dad/Martin/Mr Wainwright, surely you knew about that..."

Most satisfying.

Finally, a picture taken just before my Camberwell Beauty sighting.  This blog is mostly about the beauties of wildlife but I wouldn't want you to think that I have any doubts about humanity's ability to be colourful too. Especially in Mexico, a wonderful country which I urge one and all to visit, including Mexico City whose image in your mind may be far from the fascinating and hugely enjoyable reality.

My pic is of the hire boats which ply 180km of canals at Xochimilco, scene of my Camberwell Beauty sighting and the last remnant of the great lake of pre-Hispanic times. It's very like a huge and much hotter version of the hortillonnages at Amiens which I visited with my Mum in 2010. the year before she died, and which we (and our French co-navigators) greatly enjoyed.

Here's another picture of Xochimilco and a couple of Amiens too.

 Today is my Mum's birthday, so that's a nice coincidence to round things off.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

More from Mexico

I have always wanted to see a Camberwell Beauty in the wild and now I think I have. My photograph below may not be good enough to clinch the matter, but I'm pretty sure that this butterfly on the banks of the quaint canals of Xochimilco, where we were punted about on our Mexican foray, is the genuine article.

Also in the Sadly Blurred section of my holiday snaps are these two greyish butterflies which flitted about in the woods behind Bahia de la Lunha (see yesterday's post).  I just couldn't get any nearer, much to my frustration.

I can't resist adding a few more exotic pics, albeit wholly non-entomological. Behold: bats, a small sand crab scuttling for its hole, Mr and Mrs iguana, a vulture, a wasp or bee of some kind and a flower which does at least resemble a sort of insect. They were all at the the bahia. And to round off, some wasps' nests in the otherwise appealing thatch which covers Huatulco airport terminal.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Mexico selixico

Yes, we have had snow this week in the UK, but what is that to me? Ha! Nothing, because P and I have been in Mexico visiting our son and daughter-in-law - and the mariposas which (older readers may recall) we last enjoyed two years ago when Tom and Abi took us to see the amazing Monarch migration in the mountains of Michoacán.

This time we were in Mexico City - a great place which suffers from a skewed and decontextualised image in the same way that the North of England does - and on the coast of Oaxaca where we saw these lovely creatures. We're only just back home in Leeds with the usual catching-up to do, so I'm posting them for now and will attempt to identify later.

I can at least say with certainty that this is one of Mexico's many beautiful fritillaries, top and underwing.

Here is a Clouded Yellow of some Mexican sort.

These are two tropical species which you often see in UK butterfly houses.

And here is a tattered but delicately patterned woodland species which looks as though it may have a couple of small tails - one lost in this case, through the trials of a butterfly life.

And just to end with, from the sublime to the corblimey, back in Mexico City this very English-looking moth found a refuge in our family laundry...