November 11th – Bustling Beauties
Rain upon rain upon rain. It was not going well. 5 weeks into the expedition, and all Clara wanted was a break in the weather. The weather, it seemed, did not want to break.
Clara was an entomologist. She spent most of her time explaining to people what an entomologist was, and the rest of the time studying insects. Generally, this was not the most exciting of jobs, to people who didn’t share Clara’s passion, but for her it was everything.
Once a year she was sponsored by the Royal Society, along with her team, to undertake an expedition, in the name of science, to search for and chart new species. Which was why she was here, under a leaking tarpaulin, somewhere in the Amazon basin, looking for butterflies.
Butterflies don’t like the rain. Clara had found a lot of things that crept, and things that crawled, and things you didn’t really want to think about too much. She had burned leeches from her calves, and brushed spiders from her hair, on a daily basis, but nothing in the way of butterflied. Moths, yes, around the arc lights of the camp at night, dark wings beating silhouettes out of the night sky, but butterflies were in very short supply.
There were three weeks to go. The rain was incessant. Spirits, as spirits will be at times like these, were low. The water level was rising. Tomorrow, maybe. Tomorrow.
Clara woke to the sound of drips. Drips, not rain. The light coming through the tent was the first morning light there had been, and as the sun crept over the jungle canopy the steam of the damp earth made the morning clouds lighter than they had ever been. There was no grey anymore.
The steam dissolved. Clara, absentmindedly wondering if she’d packed her sunglasses, looked up, her hand across her brow against the glare. Pink and black, with a splash of yellow, danced in front of her eyes. Split tails. Distinctive marks.
A pair of bustling beauties. The first butterflies of the trip.
Inspired by here