Wednesday, 30 March 2016

One more time

Here is my latest painting, another butterfly! It is a Western Swallowtail butterfly (Tiger Swallowtail) that I saw and photographed on Saturna Island early last summer. It is a watercolour on CP (cold pressed) Arches watercolour paper.
``Magic in the Air``, 12`` X 16``

I have had a week full of equipment problems. Less than a month ago my computer had a life threatening illness, but recovered. This week my long serving and faithful printer bit the dust!
May it RIP.
 So sad, but I am so dependent on a printer that I replaced it with the new version.
Why can't a printer just print when you ask it; why does it have to have arguments with my other software, why can't it just print the way the old one did?
Well that is a question I cannot answer, but there are computer geeks out there that have a lot to answer for and if I get my hands on them............
Best not to go there.
So to get back to Swallowtail Butterflies, here are a few more pictures I took last summer:
For more information about the Western or Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly follow this link:

Here are some butterfly facts brought to you by:
``The word butterfly was first used to describe a butter coloured insect- the brimstone butterfly. ‘Butterfly’ eventually came to include all the species and the brimstone acquired its present name which relates to the colour of sulphur.``

``A butterfly has a small body, made of three parts – the head, thorax and abdomen. Butterflies have two large eyes, which are made of many, many small parts. These are called ‘compound eyes’. ``

``They have two antennae on top of their heads, which they use to feel, smell and to hear. A butterfly’s mouth is a long tube, through which it sucks the sweet nectar from flowers. When the butterfly does not want to eat, it rolls the tube up!``

``Butterflies have three pairs of legs. Their feet have little claws to help them stand on flowers. Some butterflies, like the peacock, only use four of their legs, carrying the two front legs against their bodies.``
``The wings of the butterfly are made of hard tubes covered with thin tissue. The wings are covered with scales, which are like a fine dust.``

``The scales form bright patterns, sometimes with a hidden ultraviolet pattern to attract mates. The bright colours also act as a deterrent to predators eating them. The scales may also form patterns that help the butterflies to blend into their background to escape predators.``
``Butterflies can only feed or fly when their bodies are warmed to at least 30° C, and they have to gain this from the sunshine using their wings. Butterflies are often seen basking with their wings open wide, as they gain heat. They adjust the area exposed to the sun by overlapping their wings or angling them towards the sunshine. The veins located in the wings then carry the heat to the body. Colour helps the butterfly with their temperature control. Dark colours absorb more heat, than light colours. Some butterflies such as the Blues have a shiny underside to their wing, which can help them reflect heat.``

``Some butterflies can fly 50km/h or faster. Slow flying butterflies probably fly about 10km/h.``

``During fall migration migrating Monarchs have been seen flying by tall buildings such as the Empire State Building hundreds of metres high. Butterflies are picked up by storm fronts and moved 100's of km, probably at altitudes of thousands of metres.``

Swallowtail Butterflies have only one generation per year. Depending on the temperatures they emerge in mid May and live until about the end of July.
By the end of their short lives they get rather tatty looking, blown about but the wind, beaten by the rain and threatened by birds, spiders and other predators (including humans).
Beautiful delicate creatures, may they long thrive!
That's all for this week, happy Wednesday, with whimsy,
I love to get your comments.