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Interesting things happen when I take Luci for her post lunch walk. To name one, there was the time I had a run in with Chintoo the rat snake. Then there was the time the Centaur Oakblue distracted me which resulted in Luci rolling in the mud. Not to mention the time I slipped on a rotten guava that had fallen off the tree. Rightfully, I ought to have gone sailing as there was nothing to hold on to on either side. But here’s news for you, I didn’t, by sheer luck (and will power!). Whew, what a narrow escape.

So, that’s how it goes, interesting things happen. Hence it was no surprise to me when I chanced upon a Monkey Puzzle on the ixora. I was excited as I hadn’t seen one in a long while. Luckily I had my phone handy and clicked away, even making some videos. The Monkey Puzzle seemed not to care that the paparazzi was after it. It pirouetted and sailed and fluttered and flitted and…. In fact, it put up a spectacular show all for myself.

The upper side of the wings of the Monkey Puzzle

By the way, have you wondered why this butterfly is called a Monkey Puzzle? Ha, there’s a puzzle for you! When you come face to face with a Monkey Puzzle, at first glance, you’ll be hard put to say which end is which, that is, until you identify the head, at which point you’ll heave a sigh of relief and say ‘Just an illusion! Not a two-headed butterfly this!‘ (Yeah, I did that the first time!)

Says Wiki: When it (the Monkey Puzzle) lands, it tends to turn around, sidestep, and waggle its tail filaments. This may serve to confuse predators as to which end is the butterfly’s head. This puzzling phenomena probably led the early identifiers to name this butterfly as a Monkey Puzzle.

Watch the action yourself:

The Monkey Puzzle in action

© Shail Mohan 2019