I was lucky enough, after a morning swim at R’s last week, to be outside with the camera when this gorgeous butterfly flew into one of his flowered bushes. The zebra longwing butterfly (Heliconius charitonius) was designated the official state butterfly of Florida in 1996. The butterfly is found throughout Florida in hardwood hammocks, thickets, gardens, and particularly in the Everglades National Park. And now on to something more dangerous, though I didn’t know it at the time. This is from wiki: Although Gray (1835) mentioned the defensive secretion of Anisomorpha buprestoides, the first account of its effect on humans that could be located was by Stewart (1937), who wrote about an incident in Texas: “The victim was observing a pair of Anisomorpha buprestoides . . . with his face within two feet of the insects, when he received the discharge in his left eye. . . The pain in his left eye was immediately excruciating; being reported to be as severe as if it had been caused by molten lead. Quick, thorough drenching with cool water allayed the burning agony to a dull aching pain. The pain eased considerably within the course of a few hours. Upon awakening the next morning the entire cornea was almost a brilliant scarlet in color and the eye was so sensitive to light and pressure for the next forty-eight hours that the patient was incapacitated for work. Vision was impaired for about five days.” Symptoms gradually disappeared and there were no lasting effects. Albert (1947) described a similar but less severe incident. I wasn’t very close to the one below, standing outside the pool enclosure and shooting up at it from about six feet away. This is what is called a two-stripe walkingstick. But the ones below? They were on the south side of the house, and I was easily within a couple feet of them. I’m thinking I got lucky, because I wasn’t using the viewfinder, as usual, which would have protected my eyes. I was zeroing in through the display window, meaning my eyes were right there. Look closely at the picture. There are two walkingsticks, small male on top of female. They were mating, and that is possibly why I escaped injury. I will be more careful in future! Have a great week! Be careful of the bugs in your yard because you never know. Heh.