BB’s Butterfly

Illustration of a swallowtail butterfly (Papilio machaon) by Denys Watkins-Pitchford (1905-90), who used the pen-name of BB for books like The Little Grey Men (1942)

For Flake’s Sake

It caught my eye, it caught my eye,
That fluttering flake of fallen sky.

It rode the wind as cars bored by
And did not die:

And shall not die,
That fluttering flake of fallen sky.

Post-Performative Post-Scriptum

A poem written months ago about a briefly glimpsed blue butterfly flying along — and over — a busy road. I don’t know the species, but Polyommatus icarus seems a reasonable guess.

Lost Lustre

Adonis, M. Cytheris, and M. Menelaus, is indescribable; the eyes are pained as they gaze upon it; yet there is said to be an unnamed species from the emerald mountains of Bogota, of which a single specimen is in a private cabinet in London, which is far more lustrous than these.” — The Romance of Natural History (1861), Philip Henry Gosse

Monbiot’s Mothbiota

When they opened the trap, I was astonished by the range and beauty of their catch. There were pink and olive elephant hawkmoths; a pine hawkmoth, feathered and ashy; a buff arches, patterned and gilded like the back of a barn owl; flame moths in polished brass; the yellow kites of swallow-tailed moths; common emeralds the colour of a northern sea, with streaks of foam; grey daggers; a pebble prominent; heart and darts; coronets; riband waves; willow beauties; an elder pearl; small magpie; double-striped pug; rosy tabby. The names testify to a rich relationship between these creatures and those who love them. — George Monbiot, “Our selective blindness is lethal to the living world”, The Guardian, 20xii2017

Bats and Butterflies

I’ve used butterfly-images to create fractals. Now I’ve found a butterfly-image in a fractal. The exciting story begins with a triabolo, or shape created from three isoceles right triangles:

The triabolo is a rep-tile, or shape that can be divided into smaller copies of itself:

In this case, it’s a rep-9 rep-tile, divisible into nine smaller copies of itself. And each copy can be divided in turn:

But what happens when you sub-divide, then discard copies? A fractal happens:

Fractal crosses (animated)

Fractal crosses (static)

That’s a simple example; here is a more complex one:

Fractal butterflies #1

Fractal butterflies #2

Fractal butterflies #3

Fractal butterflies #4

Fractal butterflies #5

Fractal butterflies (animated)

Some of the gaps in the fractal look like butterflies (or maybe large moths). And each butterfly is escorted by four smaller butterflies. Another fractal has gaps that look like bats escorted by smaller bats:

Fractal bats (animated)

Fractal bats (static)

Elsewhere other-posted:

Gif Me Lepidoptera — fractals using butterflies
Holey Trimmetry — more fractal crosses

The Stages of Cin (#3)

Cinnabar moth on ragwort

Cinnabar moth, Tyria jacobaeae, on ragwort, Jacobaea vulgaris

Update: In fact, it’s a Six-spot burnet, Zygaena filipendulae, on ragwort, Jacobaea vulgaris. Probably.