Posts Tagged ‘kaleidoscope’

I was delighted to encounter this group of butterflies last Tuesday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Several Zebra Swallowtails (Eurytides marcellus) and one prominent Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) were poking among the rocks, drinking in salts and other nutrients. If you look carefully at the image, you will see that one of the Zebra Swallowtails (the one to the right of the Spicebush Swallowtail flying—apparently it wanted to join the party.

Did you know that one of the collective nouns for a group of butterflies is “kaleidoscope?” I think the word is a a perfect descriptor for these multi-colored swirling beauties.

kaleidoscope of butterflies

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Looking at this plant from the side, all you notice are the tall, straw-like spikes that radiate from the center, but from above, it’s like looking into a kaleidoscope. I love the repetition of the colors and patterns in a wide circle around the center blossom.

I don’t have any idea what kind of flower this is, so I’ll make up my own name for it and call it the Kaleidoscope flower.


Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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