Day of the Dudus

29 January 2011

Now this is embarassing. You never see the cobwebs until the sunlight hits them at just the right angle. By then it's usually too late, and the guests are standing right next to you.


Magic silver silken strings are hanging from the wild frangipani trees all around Chada, shimmering in the sunlight. Alliteration gone wild, I know, but only because it is beautiful beyond my ability to capture photographically.

The tree fairies are back. I wish we could just tell everyone that, and be believed and keep the magical aura hovering over the camp indefinitely.


Photo Copyright Picker, Griffiths, Weaving

Soon the camp will be closed for the rains, and while no one is looking, unobserved metamorphosis will spring up and hundreds of small, soft white butterflies will float above the empty camp. For today, we only see their silken lifelines and the butterflies-to-be who dangle at the ends of them.

When they have finished feasting on the wild frangipani trees of Chada, they will wrap themselves in silken cocoons and drift off into the unknowing dreamworld existence of the once ugly, soon to be beautiful.

Like commandos fast-roping out of a helicopter, these guys have devised the ultimate escape plan from marauding wasps and cuckoos who prey on them while they feast on leaves. They dive from the treetops when they sense danger, then they climb back up their silk safety line when the coast is clear.

When they all dive at once, when the sun just happens to be casting rays through the camp at the purest angle,
it isn't hard to understand why we are fascinated by the spectacle of a thousand caterpillars diving for their lives.

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