Flower Friday – Skipper Butterfly on a Dahlia Bud

Skipper Butterfly - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Skipper Butterfly – Photograph by Laura Lecce

No science today, no facts, and no biology, just an adorable little butterfly on a plump dahlia bud. Why? Because todays post is dedicated to a very dear friend of mine. This post marks a moment in time when our friendship became greater than science. We will always find science in our lives because that is what we are trained to do, and biology will continue to exist around us. Friendships however, can sneak up on us gradually without any realization that it is happening, and will truly blossom when we face moments of hardship together. Together we will survive Winter and Spring will always follow.

Flower Friday – Aerangis Punctata

Aerangis Punctata - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Aerangis Punctata – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This teeny little beauty is an orchid originally found in Madagascar, and suitably named Aerangis Punctata. The plant size is usually about an inch big, and the flower it makes is bigger than the plant itself. I would watch the bud forming for months before it opens. It forms with a curled nectar filled spur which it unfurls just before the flower opens. Definitely builds an orchid lovers anticipation! Most Aerangis orchids make perfume at night to attract particular moths which have a long proboscis to pollinate the flower. Interestingly, the nectar in the spurs of some of these orchids have a concentration gradient which gets sweeter the deeper into the spur. This encourages the moth to penetrate the spur all the way and thus successfully pollinate the flower, and not waste sugar on moths with a short proboscis. Have a great weekend!

Aerangis Punctata Bud - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Aerangis Punctata Bud – Photograph by Laura Lecce