As you go into the tropical zone, you pass the glass cases where the adult insects, imagines, emerge from their chrysalides, which hang neatly from rails like clothes in a wardrobe.
As we made our way around, strange, exotic cries rose from the undergrowth, loud and high-pitched. Startled at first, we assumed it was a concealed recording, to create a rainforest ambiance, until these small, quail-like birds began to patter out of the undergrowth around our feet, peer up at us and emit the sounds we'd been hearing.
Butterflies are of course, famously and proverbially, elusive. One moment they're here...
... and the next, oop-la, off they go.
So you have to sneak up on them, basking,
just hanging out,
0r having a drink with friends.
The one below, as any schoolchild could probably tell you from its antennae, is not in fact a butterfly but a moth, a huge one, so it was probably sleepy,
and I could come quite close.
Others, frayed and faded, jaded beauties, were perhaps old and tired, their wings like perished silk, threadbare.
Glorious though the iridescent upper surfaces of their wings are, one should never overlook the subtlety of undersides.
Generally, they were disinclined to settle on a person. Perhaps if I'd been wearing yellow, but I never do. However, this man's bald head seemed oddly attractive to these younger black and whites, at times he was walking round with three on it. He didn't seem to mind.