A large dark moth was doing battle with the light bulbs in my bathroom a few nights ago. Though I loathe the variety that eat their way through (always, it seems, favourite) clothes, I do like big moths. I think of them as ugly butterflies and feel sympathy on their behalf, and it upsets me to see them battering themselves against the light bulbs when they find their way indoors. I turned the lights off so it would have a chance to calm down and when I looked again a few moments later this ugly bug had opened its wings.......and revealed its true identity as a beautiful Peacock butterfly.
|With wings closed it looked like a moth...|
|...but it was a Peacock butterfly|
How it got into my bathroom I have no idea for it is located in the middle of my flat and has no window, so presumably Captain Peacock flew in through either the front or back doors and somehow made its way through beaded curtains unharmed.
I started worrying; how would I catch it without doing any damage to its fragile wings in order to get it back outdoors, what would it eat in the meantime, how long would it live???
Remembering what I had seen at Sensational Butterflies, a temporary building filled with hundreds of live butterflies located each summer in the grounds of the Natural History Museum, I put a small piece of peach in a little dish for Captain Peacock to feed on and then tried to devise a method to grant this butterfly its freedom. I do not have a butterfly net since I am not an Edwardian lady and for some peculiar reason I thought the long handled net I use for cleaning the garden pond might work in a similar way. It didn't. Captain Peacock flew into it and then simply flew out again.
|A Peacock in my hallway|
|Peach amongst treasures|
By now the butterfly was darting from the bathroom to the hallway. I opened the front door to try and encourage it out but it was going nowhere. I opened the back door but it simply settled in for the night on the hallway wall. Oh well, at least it had peach.
It was still in exactly the same position when I woke up the following morning, and did not move all day. A friend came to visit in the afternoon, arriving as I was finishing some housework, and suggested I keep it as a pet! I guess it must have been the back draft from the vacuum cleaner that woke it from its sleep, or dislodged it from its comfy space on the wall for suddenly, as I was hoovering near the front door it started flying very madly in circles around my head. I grabbed the chance and opened the door, calling "fly butterfly, take your freedom" and with a last colourful fluttering of wings Captain Peacock was gone. I enjoyed the visit but I was relieved. The peach went into the compost bin.