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August 24, 2012 / Rae Spencer

Painted Lady Butterfly

This Painted Lady butterfly visited the ginger lilies today. It ignored the new blooms, drinking instead from wilted, overripe flowers.

I wondered if the nectar might be fermenting. The butterfly certainly seemed to lose coordination, as it drank.

After fifteen or twenty minutes of steady feeding, the butterfly spent some time coiling and uncoiling its tongue, as if uncertain about what to do next. Then it sat perfectly still for a while.

When I moved to find a new angle, the butterfly startled and fell from its perch, catching itself upside down on a low hanging set of blooms. I would almost swear it hiccuped. Then it dropped into flight, fluttered sideways a few yards, and staggered off toward the north.

4 Comments

  1. momentumofjoy / Aug 24 2012 7:20 PM

    We are a family of big nature nerds so I LOVE this site!!! 🙂

    • Rae Spencer / Aug 24 2012 8:07 PM

      I’m a nature nerd, too, and I’m so happy that you are enjoying my blog! 🙂

      • momentumofjoy / Aug 24 2012 9:39 PM

        Well the pics are amazing so please keep it up!

  2. bardessdmdenton / Sep 5 2012 3:09 PM

    A drunken butterfly … what next? Thanks for sharing this fascinating and amusing scene.

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