Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A New Butterfly Friend- Rice Paper Butterfly

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Image by Per Erik Standberg via WikiMedia

Well, it's been some time since I've posted and even longer since we've met a new butterfly. I alluded to the butterfly at the end of my last post so here it is. Today, meet the Rice Paper Butterfly, also known as the Paper Kite, the Wood Nymph, or the Large Tree Nymph butterfly. This one is a simple and elegant butterfly, marked by it's slow, gracefully floppy flight. It's size and slow flight make it a popular attraction at butterfly conservatories the world over, though the Paper Kite originates in Southeast Asia. A member of the subfamily Danainae, Paper Kites are considered to be distasteful to prey because of the host plants it feeds on, just like it's subfamily cousin the Monarchs which feed on milkweed. I've always heard that the yucky tasting butterflies can get away with a slow flight and the yummy ones have to flitter and dart about to avoid being captured.

I found this video on YouTube that gives us a look at the lovely movements of the Rice Paper butterfly. The video was posted by Weiße Baumnymphen.

Because of the Paper Kite's distinctive wing pattern, she is popular not just an a striking addition to butterfly conservatories but also to artists. OK, I use the term "artist" loosely when applied to myself- I'm more of a "goofing-around" type. At any rate, here's my latest paper cutting adventure:

I cut the butterfly first, from a heavy black paper, and then sprayed it with a light coat of black laquer to strengthen and stabilize it.

The I cut a piece of white glitter paper to fit exactly under the wings and used a light stain of watercolor to give the wings their yellow color at the junction with the body. I framed our gal by layering first a white background, then the glitter paper, than a layer of clear acrylic. I put the cut out wings on top of the acrylic then covered with glass and it all went into a simple frame.

I have decided that I need to make another one, sort of a positive-negative thing, after I saw how the wings looked before cutting them away from the black paper.

But that's a project for another day.

Hey thanks for visiting the jungle today. I'm looking forward to spring and healing things but right now I'm off to shovel snow.

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