Where weight is concerned, it does not matter how light something is. What matters, is how long we are required to support it. The perceived weight of any object increases over time. The weight of the actual object doesn’t change, all that changes is our ability to support it. Even a Butterfly can end up weighing as much as a pile of books.


I was on top of Mariposa mountain when a storm came rolling in. The temperature dropped very quickly, and because I was only wearing summer shorts and a polo shirt, I thought of ending the filming session early. Just as I was picking up my things, a twin tailed Pasha butterfly stopped by. I thought I would take a few pictures, maybe a short video, and then head back home. 


The maximum length of video my camera can record, is fifteen minutes. At the end of the session the camera stops recording and I have to start another session. I set the camera to video mode, held out my hand and the butterfly came to settle. I started the video recording, and patiently waited for her to fly off, except she didn't. When the session ended I clicked the shutter release and waited to see what happened next.


Twin tailed Pasha (Charaxes Jasius)


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If you wish to listen to the music of the mountains, you must run a diamond through the valleys. A Butterfly is the perfect natural diamond stylus. Only the faintest touch let’s you know they are there. 


The diamond needle point of a record player is perfectly balanced with a counterweight, so that there is just enough weight to keep the diamond in the groove, but not so much that the diamond damages the vinyl. Too much weight would also prevent the subtle nuances in the music from being heard.

the music of the mountains taun richards

When butterflies sense rain they usually go and hide. Midway through the second session, the Pasha was still happily sat there, but now, it felt like a bag of sugar. As weather conditions deteriorated the other butterflies disappeared. I was really very surprised that the Pasha stayed, but stay she did, for another full session. So now I have 30 minutes of video in total. I clicked the shutter release to start another session.


I was determined to see this interaction through to the end; I am so glad I did. The third session went without a hitch, but now, the camera felt like a bag of rocks. I was finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a steady grip and eventually had to reposition myself. it is during these adjustments that Butterflies can get spooked and fly off. I did think this might be the end, but no. The third session ended and the Pasha was happily sat there, waiting for something, so it seemed. I clicked the shutter release for the fourth time, and waited.


At 1m:40s into the last session the Pasha started to share a vibratory signal, which passed straight on to me. The message came in the form of a high speed sequence of vibrations, like a modem signal. long and short flurries of activity, which felt amazing actually. When you watch the video, you will see that the vibrations are caused by a conscious and intentional act.


I realise that nobody will be able to appreciate the music of the mountains, until they experience it for themselves.

“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass,

God is waiting for you”

Werner Heisenberg Quantum physicist