Back-to-front

As you know, I like looking at creatures from every angle, bottom as well as top. This tiny butterfly when its wings are open has those astonishing iridescent morpho-blue stripes, something almost impossible to capture on camera. If you look closely, there is tantalizing glimpse of a rather different-colored underside:

P1140780

And when it closes its wings, a entirely new butterfly appears:

P1140779

I found it hard to believe that these were the same butterfly, but they are. The guides call it the “89” butterfly, though its real name is Diaethria clymena, a type of Brushfoot.

Backs are not always a good clue to fronts either. All these photos are the same bird, the Masked Trogon, common in the cloud forests on the lower slopes of the Andes. From the back, the female (here feeding a moth to her young fledgling, just visible behind her) is a mousy brown color, not very exciting.

Female Masked Trogon, feeding young a moth

But then she flicks her tail:

Female masked trogon

And turns around:

Female Masked Trogon

As for her partner, as usual he is even flashier. Handsome from behind in a fairly restrained kind of way:

Male masked trogon.

But altogether brasher from the front:

Male masked trogon.

Especially when he puffs up his chest to impress the girls.

Male masked trogon.

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