Empress Garden, Kavade Mala, Ghorpadi, Pune

Of Mimes and Migrations!

The air is starting to feel crisp and cold marking the arrival of my favorite time of the year. All creatures big and small are waiting for the sun to come up just enough so that they get started with their day. October felt like the right season for a butterfly walk and we went with it. I was truly fascinated to learn so much about their lives. All the information made me understand that they are an entity of their own and have a life so different than ours. There’s so much we still don’t know about them but even what we know is beyond mind-boggling. It’s truly heroic how in their short-lived lives they serve so much of purpose to nature without even having the capabilities of realizing it. Nature, my friend, is really full of wonders. The interdependencies and interconnections are brilliant.

We went to a rather undisturbed part of the garden post-butterfly walk to explore what treasures lie here. And we were nothing short of thrilled to see the wide diversity a tiny patch of wildflowers and weed grass hold. Plants like Snakeweed, Coral Vine, Tridax, Mexican sunflower, and such are considered invasive and are non-native. They are treated as weeds and are removed from gardens but they make excellent nectaring plants for butterflies. That just goes to prove nothing in nature is worthless. From blues to yellows there were almost 30 species we found in that part of the garden. We were truly amazed by the variety and that got me thinking nature when left to its own devices can take care of itself. It never did or never will require human intervention for its protection as it is bigger than all of us. We saw some Glassy Tigers which by the way are one of the migratory species of butterflies. Something as small and short-lived as butterflies can also take on the magnificent feat of migration.

In the field of environment and biodiversity when you spot/see something for the first time in your life it is termed a lifer. On this personal exploration, a lifer for me was the Common Mime butterfly, a relatively large butterfly flying from one Mexican sunflower to another at a height, nectaring and teasing us for a good picture. Looking at the white and black butterfly all I could think about were mime artists and the resemblance. How fashion is inspired by nature like so many other things including inspiration for this piece of writing. So much is derived from nature in our day-to-day lives right from the food we eat to the clothes we wear to the nature-based songs and poems we sing. In formal terms, we call it ecosystem services but it almost feels wrong to call it services when nature is just being and we on the other hand are extracting the previously mentioned things. By saying this I don’t want to draw a strong line between nature and us. We are nature too and the more strongly we feel that the more at ease we are with our surroundings.

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