It was sheer providence that I stepped into the wonderful world of butterflies. It was summer and I had time to go on field outings as it was vacation time for my children. I wanted to watch birds but alas it was not a good time to watch birds. I had noticed Rohit watching butterflies on some birding trips. So that summer I joined a group of avid butterfly watchers and got hooked on to this hobby. The butterfly watching outing is usually a long trek spanning about 4 hours with amazing sightings. Butterflies come in a wide array of colors and sizes. India is host to a phenomenal number of butterflies,about 1,800 species. Even the tiniest of the butterflies – Grass jewel has amazing patterns with excellent detailing on its wings ,each species different from the other.
The Bangalore Butterfly list was compiled by Karthikeyan Srinivasan. ( Karthikeyan, S (1999) : The Vertebrates and Butterflies of Bangalore : A Checklist. WWF-India, Karnataka State Office, Bangalore. Pp.48 . 165 butterflies are in this list ).
“If butterfly-watching is a widely enjoyed nature activity today in Bangalore, credit for the same goes to Karthik. “During the 80s, birding was gaining momentum as a popular outdoor hobby,” he reminisces. “People armed with binoculars were going out and spending considerable time outdoors, looking at birds. I had, besides birds, learnt a little about butterflies and found them to be just as compelling and engaging.” So, he adds, “Whenever I went out birding, I would draw attention to butterflies we saw, and that sparked interest.” As quoted in this link by Deepa Mohan
Trying to identify a butterfly is like solving a cryptic puzzle .Their wing patterns mesmerized me . Believe me it is a pleasure to watch the transformation from the notorious looking caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly.
Below is a photo blog of the Jezebel caterpillar turning into a butterfly,I am sure you will be mesmerized by the transformation.
As far as possible try to watch them in their natural habitats. The thrill of seeing a new species of butterfly cannot be expressed in words. In Bangalore there are 165 different species of butterflies .Please find phenomenal clicks of butterflies by Rohit Girotra .Start looking for them and make a list of how many you have seen. Undoubtedly it is a hobby which is definitely addictive .
This blog post was written for Janani Eshwar http://www.crazyaboutphotography.com/mesmerizing-metamorphosis/