Wet butterflies?

Most of the time we have been “rained in” at our farm in Salta with only the occasional sunny spell, reminiscent of our time in Bedele, Ethiopia or worse, the UK! Well not as bad as the latter… The longest sunny spell lasted twelve hours but the normal sun appearances were a couple of hours long!

Butterflies were totally absent during the rainy spells and, as soon as the sunshine appeared, they were out in full force almost magically! Watching this event a few times the question of the title came: where are they when it rains? One theory was that they hatched with the sunshine but it was discarded, as they were too fast to respond! The idea of sheltering themselves against the rain gained strength but where?

As often happens, an answer came out of a spin off from another observation. The rain was so much that our river flooded, stopping us from leaving the farm.

Inspecting the flooded farm.

Inspecting the flooded farm.

While taking stock of the situation under the rain, I could not fail to see a large orange spot in a tree. Closer inspection revealed a large butterfly hanging upside down. On closer inspection I noted that it had aligned its body to the branch above it and it was perfectly protected from the raindrops.

The butterfly perfectly aligned under the thin branch.

The butterfly perfectly aligned under the thin branch.

Unfortunately my camera would refuse to focus on the insect, as there were raindrops and small branches interfering with its electronic “brain”. Unfortunately it moved off before I could take a better shot.

Although you may think that this was a clever ruse from the yellow butterfly, it was really nothing compared with the two shown below that found shelter inside our house!

Safer inside the house and looking out.

Safer inside the house and looking out.

Another clever moth!

Another clever moth!

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