I don’t know why, but the last thing I think about when I think of the jungle is butterflies. So it came as quite a surprise when I arrived in Tikal to see swarms of butterflies everywhere. The largest and most striking one was bright yellow; it was the first butterfly I saw when pulled into the Tikal National Park, and I spent a substantial amount of time trying to get a photograph of it. Every time I got close, it flitted away and landed somewhere near enough for me to follow it, only to lose it again just as I was focussing. Other butterflies were much more accommodating. As I wandered through the ruins of the ancient Mayan city peeping out of the northern Guatemalan jungle, butterflies practically threw themselves at me, begging for a photo.
They were all very lovely, but I somehow felt defeated by that big yellow butterfly. It was destined to be the one that got away. Then, as I was standing outside the Tikal Inn waiting for my shuttle to arrive to take me to the airport, that big yellow butterfly fluttered by and landed right beside where I was standing, on a glorious red bloom. I got one single shot before he danced away into the distance.
Thank you, big yellow butterfly, for not leaving me unrequited.