Wednesday, 20 July 2011

New additions to our home..

When you walk around your home long enough, you will start catching sights of the things you never thought existed around you..

Like this cheerful sunflower..

Then, you will start thinking about what you want to change or add or.. capture with you camera.. and keep the memory for as long as you want..

That is what we do here.. Mother and my husband love to find new plants to grow, and I love watching them grow, observing the creatures residing around the plants, and capturing them all with a camera, I can get a hold of..

These are pictures of some of the new additions in our front and back yards..

The short-lived Morning Glory

The new white flower outside the widow

The new bush of purple flowers

The pretty plant that is having breakfast with a little bee..

A little lizard that quickly became Aza's friend

The lovely white orchids

The beautiful purple orchids

The pretty white plant that is saying 'hi' to the sun

The baby dragonfly


The giant cricket

My most surprising find was in the pond that was meant to be a fish breeding pond. While the fish is not using the pond, another family is happily occupying it, and it looks like they are building an empire in it..

The frog family

Last but not least, my best find was the little creature hiding among the leaves up on the mango tree, which brought a specific song to me..

Hush a bye baby on the tree top
When the wind blows the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall
Down will come baby cradle and all..

Sleep tight, little bat

Having this world of nature around me, and being able to enjoy it every day, makes me less jealous of those wild life photographers.. :-P

Have a nice day, Everyone.. :-)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Graphium Agamemnon: My patience is finally paid off..

A few months ago (or it might be over a year ago).. I saw this beautiful butterfly and I quickly ran to take a picture of it. It was black, with bright green dots and patterns all over its wings.. simple but very beautiful..

After a few runs around the front yard, I decided that the butterfly was far too fast, both for me and my camera! I didn't give up, though.. I loved it and I wouldn't stop until I had its pictures!

I started searching on the internet about this beautiful butterfly. At first, the search didn't come up with anything at all, except some pictures. After a few months, I did another internet search for this black and green butterfly, and my determination was finally yielding a great result!

The beautiful butterfly is GRAPHIUM AGAMEMNON and it is a very active type of butterfly. It is harder to catch by camera compared to other butterflies because it moves around a lot and it flies fast and often high.

Through the search, I also found a blog owner who was a student studying about butterflies and I asked her what I should do to be able to catch a Graphium agamemnon on my camera. She said that I needed to catch it early in the morning when the butterfly was not so fast yet.

I did as she suggested.  There were two Graphium agamemnons that were flying around our front yard almost every day, and I ran after them every time I saw them. Soon I realised that my camera was not the best in the world, it wouldn't win any race against the beautiful butterfly I love. I still refused to give up.

Very soon, I never saw any of the Graphium agamemnon again, I almost didn't see any butterflies at all, for a few weeks after that. Then, I found dead butterflies in the bushes near the front porch. I realised that their 'time' has come and I would have to wait for the new ones to come out of their cocoons, although I had no clue of where their cocoons were.

About two months ago, I started seeing butterflies in the front yard again. A large black one (which Ariq managed to take a picture of with my camera), A black with white and purple pattern, a little white one and a brown one... but no Graphium agamemnon..

I know that there are birds around our house, and I'm sure they always eat worms, caterpillars, and maybe even butterflies. If the birds ever came across the Graphium agamemnon caterpillar, I doubt I would ever see one so close to home again. However, deep inside my heart I was still keeping a tiny ray of hope for the sight of the beautiful black and bright green I love so much.

Then, it happened!

One morning, I was walking around the front yard with my camera in one hand, taking pictures of the morning glories, sunflowers, and other blooming plants, and suddenly, it was there, flying around the bushes outside Mother's window.. Graphium agamemnon..!! I believe it was a young one. It was slightly smaller and it didn't move as fast as the two I previously knew.

I quickly readied my camera in my hand and started 'talking' to the butterfly, asking it to stay quietly on the leave. I manage to get a few shots, but those shots are not as good as I expect them to be. I know that my 'hunt' is still on!

Finally, two weeks ago, Mother asked me to document a community gathering at home with her camera. I still had the camera the next morning because I didn't have time to transfer the pictures to the computer yet. Miraculously, the Graphium agamemnon was flying around the front yard. I quickly ran inside the house to fetch Mother's camera.

Once I was back in the front yard, the butterfly was already gone. I quickly hoped it had gone to the back yard, so I quickly rushed there, and there it was! flying around the plants above the fish pond!

I deactivated the digital zoom and maximised the optical zoom. Then, I quickly directed Mother's camera towards the butterfly. I took as many pictures as the camera's speed allowed. Then, I transferred the pictures to the computer.

The pictures may not be perfect, but, considering I am not a professional photographer, the camera was not a professional camera and the Graphium agamemnon was not as young as the first time I saw it and it was moving around fast, just like the first two I knew, well, I consider these pictures are absolutely gorgeous..

After one year of effort and patience, I now have beautiful pictures of a very beautiful Graphium agamemnon.. The black and bright green butterfly that I love so much..