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14 September 2018 / leggypeggy

My butterflies hit the big time

Dryas iulia, Iguazu Falls

Dryas iulia

My recent posts have showcased breathtaking scenery in the USA’s national parks, but I’m ready for a little side trip. I promise to come back with more scenery. There are still heaps of great views of the parks, but today I’m going to revisit a blog post I wrote five years ago.

It was a simple enough post, featuring the many butterflies we saw at the magnificent Iguazu Falls that straddle Brazil and Argentina.

So why revisit a post?

Turns out two of those butterflies are a bit special.

In 2015, Derryl Rice from Parmenides Publishing posted a comment, asking if they could use the image of a red and black butterfly—a Dryas iulia. He wrote ‘It would be for a philosophy book cover. It’s a wonderful shot that would fit the cover perfectly. Time is of the essence as we are going to press, if you could let us know soon it would be appreciated.’

I sent the photo off straightaway and, in due course, I was sent a copy of the book. It is part of a series about the The Six Enneads—the collection of writings by Plotinus, a major Greek-speaking philosopher of the ancient world.

Ennead IV.3–4.29

Problems concerning the soul

Having never studied the subject, I didn’t know butterflies are significant in philosophy. So I went exploring and found an article by Raymond Tallis in Philosophy Now about Zhuangzi. Tallis says this great classical thinker  ‘fell asleep one day and dreamed that he was a butterfly. When he woke up, he did not know whether he really was a man who had dreamed he was a butterfly or whether he was a butterfly now dreaming he was a man. The story is intended as more than a charming episode in the life of a sage: it is meant to make a philosophical point about what we take to be real. Our dreams are utterly compelling, and so long as we are dreaming, we think they are real.’ If you are interested, Tallis’ full article is here.

I was thrilled to have my photo used (plus they paid me a little for the right and named me as the photographer). At the time, I meant to write about the book and pic, but got sidetracked with other travels.

Then a little earlier this year, I got more interesting messages on that blog post. Roberto R. Greve wrote and identified all the butterflies. In my original post, I identified only two by name (turns out I was wrong about both) and the rest by colours.

Greve asked specifically about one specimen. ‘I am a butterfly researcher, this beautiful orange butterfly is an Emesis fatimella. I would like to ask where and when it was photographed, was it on the Brazilian or Argentine side of the falls? Congratulations, it’s a new record for Iguassu!’

I was gobsmacked. To think I had photographed a butterfly not seen before in the area. I replied with the date and location of the photo—December 2012 on the Argentine side.

Greve replied, ‘Thank you very much. This information is very important for us, to know in what time of year this butterfly can be seen in the region. You guys were really lucky to be photographing this. I’ve done research in the area for almost 11 years and I’ve never seen it!’

Emesis fatimella, Iguazu Falls

Emesis fatimella


Leave a Comment
  1. ralietravels / Sep 14 2018 11:52 am


    Liked by 3 people

  2. Dorothy / Sep 14 2018 11:58 am

    How amazing to capture a photo of such an elusive butterfly. It will encourage you to snap every butterfly you see now. I was told the Nigerian name for butterfly translates to ” the man who opens the book” which they used to refer to the missionaries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 12:57 pm

      Oh Dorothy, thanks so much for explaining the Nigerian name for butterfly.


  3. Louise M Oliver / Sep 14 2018 12:08 pm

    Congratulations Peggy on being a published photographer! Famous cook, photographer, internationally known blogger. You leave the rest of us in the shade. And such beautiful butterflies and photos. Fancy coming across the beautiful orange one that an experienced researcher has never seen. Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 12:58 pm

      Thanks Louise. I wonder how many butterflies he’s seen that I haven’t. By the way, he may have seen this one before, just not at Iguazu Falls.


  4. Robert Parker / Sep 14 2018 12:14 pm

    How exciting! That’s wonderful. And cool!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 12:58 pm

      It was exciting. The world of blogging is amazing.


  5. Anthony / Sep 14 2018 12:14 pm

    What a cool happening.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. lexklein / Sep 14 2018 12:30 pm

    How cool! I love the way they used the red butterfly on the book cover.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 1:00 pm

      The cover looks fantastic. They sent me a prototype when they asked to use the pic. I’d have been crazy to say no?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Coral Waight / Sep 14 2018 12:49 pm

    How fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dreamtemples / Sep 14 2018 1:14 pm

    Congratulations Peggy! How wonderful to have your photo published! The book cover looks absolutely lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 3:15 pm

      I was thrilled with the cover. Looks so good.


  9. paolsoren / Sep 14 2018 1:19 pm

    It happened again. Your whole post about butterflies appeared in my Comments column.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 3:15 pm

      Yikes, I wonder what’s going on there. Are you able to ask WordPress for advice?


  10. gerard oosterman / Sep 14 2018 1:33 pm

    Better to have lived and seen a brilliant and rare butterfly than not al all. Great story Peggy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 3:16 pm

      I don’t know if the butterfly is rare, or just rare around Iguazu Falls.


  11. Alison and Don / Sep 14 2018 2:28 pm

    Wow! Congratulations on all counts! I loved the butterflies of Iguazu. I went in 1978 and never forgot all the butterflies, then went back again in 2014 and was so pleased to see they were all still there.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Vicki / Sep 14 2018 2:36 pm

    Wow, lucky you.

    Don’t you just love the internet and the way it brings people together. Congrats on the book cover too.

    I rarely see butterflies except in Melbourne’s Zoo’s Butterfly House and…..that’s…..not the same thing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 3:20 pm

      I was thrilled with the cover. Such an honour. I’ve been two places with countless butterflies—Iguazu and Keoladao in India.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Sep 14 2018 2:36 pm

    Wow, Peggy, you going to be in the history books, the science books, the philosophy and nature and lepidoptera books – so very cool and a really interesting story as well. AND great photos of really pretty butterflies. Pats on your back!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Rhonda / Sep 14 2018 3:47 pm

    What a great story! And how exciting for you to have a photo published on a book cover!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 5:24 pm

      It was such a surprise—and out of the blue.


  15. afterthelasttime / Sep 14 2018 5:05 pm

    Wow! That’s great! I remember your beautiful butterflies, awesome your photo was not only brought to butterfly lovers everywhere, you were credited and credited with discovering them in a new important place.
    At the time I think I mentioned in my response there is a butterfly pavilion about midway between Denver and Boulder. I’ve been over the years.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 5:26 pm

      You did mention the butterfly pavilion. Sorry we didn’t manage to get there. Next time.


  16. beetleypete / Sep 14 2018 6:24 pm

    Yet another illustration of the wonderful possibilities of communication opened up by blogging. The photo looks amazing on the book cover, and I can imagine how thrilling it must be to own a copy featuring your own photo on such a ‘serious’ book, as well as contributing to the valuable wildlife research. Well done indeed, Peggy.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 8:29 pm

      Thanks Pete. It is an honour to have the photo used, especially on the cover, and to be given credit. And I got paid the princely sum of $25.

      Liked by 1 person

      • beetleypete / Sep 14 2018 8:58 pm

        Ah, it’s not the money that counts! 🙂


      • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 9:10 pm

        Too right, Pete. The publisher is in the US and I’m in Australia, so I had them pay the money to one of my sisters. Then we went and stayed with her and ate her food. Even.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Julie Manley / Sep 14 2018 6:37 pm

    What a story, confirming that truth is still a lot stranger than fiction! Beautiful shots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 8:35 pm

      Thanks Julie. I’m still stunned how both parties found my photos.


  18. Emma Cownie / Sep 14 2018 7:04 pm

    You never think about the story behind book covers. It’s a beautiful butterfly and photo. I like the analogy about dreams/reality and butterflies. It describes something I have wondered about since being a teenager. I am “awake” now but has everything else been a dream?

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 8:37 pm

      My main career was in publishing, so book covers have often been important to me. I never expected to have my work featured on one. Now I’m prompted to find out more about problems with the soul.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Emma Cownie / Sep 15 2018 4:26 pm

        That sounds like a worth-while meaning of life thing to ponder on!

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Eliza Ayres / Sep 14 2018 7:13 pm

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Gilda Baxter / Sep 14 2018 7:27 pm

    Wow..amazing. Huge congratulations to you:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 8:39 pm

      Thanks Gilda. I’m still feeling a bit smug.


  21. Sharon Smith / Sep 14 2018 7:29 pm

    Love a good citizen science story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 8:39 pm

      Love that expression—citizen science. Thanks.


  22. Frank Prem / Sep 14 2018 7:34 pm

    Brilliant Peggy. How about you, hey?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. The Year I Touched My Toes / Sep 14 2018 9:18 pm

    Hi Peggy, What a great story. Love it. Of course, all made possible by the internet. Louise

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 14 2018 9:58 pm

      Extraordinary how the internet connects us all.


  24. The Lockwood Echo / Sep 14 2018 10:20 pm

    Wow 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  25. sushilove51 / Sep 14 2018 11:25 pm

    beautiful colored.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Yeah, Another Blogger / Sep 15 2018 1:35 am

    Peggy, you’ve got a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Very impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 15 2018 1:58 pm

      I think it was the butterflies that were in the right place at the right time.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Laurie / Sep 15 2018 2:33 am

    How wonderful for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 15 2018 1:59 pm

      It was very pleasing and I got $25 for my effort.


  28. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso / Sep 15 2018 3:08 am

    Very impressive!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. chattykerry / Sep 15 2018 4:54 am

    It is both a beautiful book cover and photograph. How exciting to have recorded a unique specimen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 15 2018 2:00 pm

      The cover is very stylish. As for the butterfly, I’m not sure that it’s rare, but it’s apparently not seen at Iguazu Falls.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Sascha Darlington / Sep 15 2018 4:56 am

    wow! That is exciting stuff. The photos are lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. jeanleesworld / Sep 15 2018 7:52 am

    Oh, this is just like my afternoon! I’d just picked up the boys and was driving them home when a bald eagle flew OVER OUR CAR! Here we went to Eagle River this summer and couldn’t spot a single specimen, but driving through town today one swoops over us while we’re crossing a bridge!

    These are beautiful captures, by the by. And how cool they’re appreciated, and how even cooler you learned something new!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. magarisa / Sep 15 2018 8:44 am


    Liked by 1 person

  33. Bernie Kasper / Sep 15 2018 1:06 pm

    That’s awesome !!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. toutparmoi / Sep 15 2018 8:42 pm

    Wow! And congratulations! What a thrill. And I do hope the butterflies you photographed can take stardom in their stride. Drink, drugs, selfies, instagram – the perils of celebrity are many.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 15 2018 8:52 pm

      Oh gosh, you made me laugh. Thanks for the warnings. I’ll stick to the wine. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  35. Lynz Real Cooking / Sep 16 2018 1:33 am

    Very cool! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Dave Ply / Sep 16 2018 8:01 am

    They say when a butterfly flaps its wings in South America, it affects the weather halfway across the world. Perhaps they meant to say it affects a life in Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. revolutionarymusings / Sep 17 2018 6:19 am

    That is a gorgeous butterfly

    Liked by 1 person

  38. ortensia / Sep 17 2018 4:19 pm

    Amazing and very interesting.🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Miriam / Sep 17 2018 11:05 pm

    How absolutely wonderful for you! And the book sounds fascinating. Congrats to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Nancy / Sep 17 2018 11:58 pm

    Congrats! It sounds thrilling, Peggy. I have a story about butterflies. When my mother died a butterfly flew into my daughter’s apartment through the open sliding glass door. Also, when my sister passed away I saw a butterfly and when her fiance was sitting on a bench staring out at the lake where they often took their boat out, a butterfly lit on his shoulder. He teared up. It was beautiful and somewhat overwhelming for all of us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 18 2018 7:37 am

      Thank you for sharing those experiences. It’s no wonder butterflies are associated with the soul and philosophy.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. efge63 / Sep 18 2018 7:29 pm

    Wonderful !!!!!!!!!!!

    Wish you more published photos of you!!!

    Butterfly And Soul; – Poem by Manjeshwari P MYSORE

    Laid on the underside of a leaf,
    Early stage is egg;
    Thriving to exist;

    Hatching from the eggshell,
    Consuming leaves as caterpillar,
    Creepy, hungry larva is the second stage;
    Accumulating needs with greed;

    Hiding itself in a cover of time is pupa
    Still and suspended is the third stage;
    Buried in a tomb;

    Emerging as a beautiful winged-fly Imago,
    Butterfly is the fourth and final stage;
    As soul gets liberated from all bonds;

    Basking in the Sun, it sets to fly
    Ready to feed on sweet nectar of flowers
    Meanwhile pollinating them;
    It can live from a week to a year
    It plays an important role in nature
    Finding its mate and the cycle repeats;

    Fairy for the plants, Angel of joy to us
    Colourful, joyful, beautiful flying creature
    A tiny insect whose fluttering wings has impact,
    On the occurence of tornado;

    A butterfly represents the true spirit of life,
    Rightly called Pysche for the final attainment,
    Psyche, the love of Eros achieved immortality,

    A butterfly portrays the journey of soul;
    Reaching for the sky, feeding on nectar;
    Is what mortals want as soul in Heaven.

    Manjeshwari P MYSORE

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 18 2018 10:24 pm

      Thanks for posting this wonderful poem. It’s perfect. Maybe I’ll post more pics of me someday.

      Liked by 2 people

      • efge63 / Sep 18 2018 10:26 pm

        You love everything you do …. so everything is full of love !!! Kisses!!!

        Liked by 2 people

      • leggypeggy / Sep 18 2018 10:36 pm

        Yes, we have lots of fun. Kisses back to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  42. Tejasv Kalra / Sep 19 2018 2:00 am

    Very very nice !!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Nilzeitung / Sep 20 2018 8:19 am

    wonderful Congrats to you, miracle well, good morning to the you,.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. adventuredawgs / Sep 20 2018 8:25 am

    Everything about this post is so exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Holistic Wayfarer / Sep 21 2018 9:21 pm

    That is great! Glad someone saw the beauty and benefit of your captures.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Jadi Campbell / Sep 25 2018 10:52 pm

    Peggy, what an incredible honor! One of the most interesting trips Uwe and I have taken was in Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park. Our guide was an East German entomologist. He gave both Latin and common names for each creature we examined. He was an Egyptologist in an earlier part of his life and worked on digs in Egypt before the Iron Curtain collapsed. Since completely changing fields and working in Thailand, he identified over 200 new species of butterflies and moths. It takes a fine eye and large store of patience to watch wildlife. Kudos to you for your attention and talent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 26 2018 7:16 am

      Thanks so much. Your trip through Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park would have been fantastic. Always a treat to do something like that with an expert.

      Liked by 1 person

  47. BoomingOn / Sep 27 2018 10:34 am

    Wow. How interesting. Is that perhaps like the butterfly effect? Isn’t it amazing our communication networks in this modern world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 27 2018 6:38 pm

      That’s exactly what amazed me. How did they happen upon my blog and these pics?

      Liked by 1 person

  48. barkinginthedark / Oct 1 2018 10:59 am

    congratulations. how satisfying. continue…

    Liked by 1 person

  49. America On Coffee / Jan 12 2019 6:22 pm


    Liked by 1 person

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