Tigers are frolicking all over my garden these days. Tiger butterflies, that is.
The hotter days and blooming trees in Mumbai have something to do with that I think. Everywhere I look there are trees in bloom and an attendant cloud of butterflies and other nectar-loving insects dancing around them. They act almost besotted with the heady summer fragrance. Can't blame them!
This gorgeous Blue Tiger butterfly refused to leave the lantana bush alone. I usually have to chase and stalk them all over the garden to get a half-way decent photo, but here they were, cosying up to the lantana blooms mindless of who else was around.
Could this be the reason why?
The Common Crows are making their presence felt too. But then, they are rarely shy and don't mind intrusive bloggerazzi following them around.
This tiny little butterfly hides one of the most brilliant blues I've ever seen within its wings. At rest, no one would give them a second glance but like the other butterflies of the Lycaenid or Blues family, their flight is punctuated by brilliant flashes of the most vibrant blue from the upper part of their wing which is usually folded and hidden away.
Almost like butterfly Morse code!
Another Tiger, the Striped Tiger butterfly, loves the banana grove. I love its tiger-y colours and I can see where it got its name, can't you? What a contrast in their personalities though!
Isn't it amazing how much it resembles the Monarch butterfly?
I found this Striped Tiger hanging around the cashew tree which is in full bloom now. I've always considered the cashew flowers no great shakes in the looks department but the butterflies are mad about them. True butterfly magnets!
The cashew blooms also attracted this stunning Handmaiden Moth which has to be the most impossibly colourful creature I've ever seen.
Don't believe me? Take a look at her close up. And keep in mind that the camera couldn't capture the deep jewel reds and blues which look a bit faded here. This is one creature that makes you gasp in awe. And makes me thank my lucky stars that I have them around in my garden.
So were these butterflies the prototype for some of the most beautiful flowers? Or is it the other way around?