butterfly thoughts & mindful musings

I’ve been recording the videos for a new online writing course with the working title “Creative Inspirations”. The course was born from the fact that, at some time in their life, almost every writer looks at a blank screen or a blank page and realises they don’t know how to get started.

For me, this happens quite regularly. Indeed, I could say it happens almost every weekend when it’s time to write a blog post. Sadly, although each class in the course will provide a new activity or insight to trigger ideas, I’m not sure it’s what I need for writing here; I do, however, hope it will be of use to other writers and poets who have hit a bit of a wall.
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flights of fancy

Yesterday I wondered whether the dusty old magic carpet could still fly. Shortly after posting, I realised it didn’t really matter if it couldn’t, as I found this marvellous creature, who offered an equally valid mode of transport for any flight of fancy I might want to make:

Aquamarine /blue-green coloured moth
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camouflage

The Jersey Tiger moth seems to be doing it wrong:

Jersey tiger moth
This makes me wonder about all the other creatures in the ivy hedge who have their camouflage right. Which makes lying in the hammock rather less enticing.

seeing red

I never collected butterflies as a child, never owned a killing jar, never pinned spread wings flat on boards or boasted of my trophies to visitors. I did, however, own a butterfly net made from a piece of net curtain, a hoop of wire and a bamboo garden cane – well, maybe my brother owned it and I acquired it – which features in the poem Childhood posted last autumn.

I could also identify just about every adult butterfly in the book, though I was less expert when it came to caterpillars.

Dead cinnabar moth
Last week, then, when I came across the lovely creature in the photo, I knew it wasn’t a butterfly at all. It had to be a moth. In fact it’s a cinnabar moth, and common enough that I am surprised I’d never seen one before.

The final lines of the poem Childhood are:

The butterflies have flown away;
their colours paint my dreams.

I’m wondering now if in fact it is moths like this that add that dash of dream colour.

what’s been bugging me

In the six years this blog has been going, I’ve posted a number of pictures of bugs and creepy crawlies, so I thought I’d bring some of them together in an entomological collection.

My very first blog bug was this giant moth (it had a wingspan of about five inches). I wrote about it in May 2007 in the post Wings in the Night:

Giant peacock moth
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time flies

And there are too many things need doing for me to write much, so I’ll settle for a picture of this rather splendid creature I found in the garden this morning.

Black and cream moth

I suppose it’s a kind of tiger moth. (I should have stuck a ruler in the picture as an indication of scale, of course, but it must have been something over an inch long.) Its impressive camouflage would have been marginally more effective if it had chosen the cream painted wall for its morning siesta.
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