The Butterfly Tattoo – Which One is Right For You?

The butterfly tattoo has to be one of the best loved of inks. You may already know that the word for indelible figures inked on your body came from tatau, which is both Tahitian and Samoan. Nearly everyone in Polynesian society was tattooed, as it was an indicator of rank, social function, accomplishments and family. Although you see “tattoo” written in the dictionary, many people prefer to write this design style as “butterfly tattoo”, maybe in tribute to the exotic origins of the word.

The butterfly tattoo is used by men and women alike. This beautiful, light-as-a-feather insect has a full set of symbolism in every part of the world, although it means different things to different people. But whether you are from China, Ireland, Zaire or New Zealand, the lepidopteran is associated with the soul. It’s something we all have in common, and probably a major reason for the picturesque design’s universal appeal.

Butterfly tattoo design is nearly as varied as the insect itself, of which five hundred sixty-one varieties are known! That would be like a whole book if I wrote about them all, so I thought maybe to write about just one of the most popular designs that I’ve seen around.

Maybe you’ve heard of it: the tribal butterfly tattoo. It’s a stylized type of artwork that is not strictly photo-realistic. This is kind of nice, because realistic butterflies can never quite look like the real thing anyway. So why not go with your imagination and have your own unique tribal lepidopteran design?

Black lepidopteran designs are the ones seen most often – when they’re tribal, anyway. There might be lots of reasons for this, but two that come immediately to mind are highlighting the actual design over the color, and the color schemes of your ink clashing with your clothes.

There are so many great ideas to choose from when selecting the butterfly tattoo of your dreams. Some of the most common ink styles I’ve seen around include the semi-realistic line drawing, the gothic, the Asian-themed, and of course the always popular tribal ink.

Japanese family crests regularly feature butterflies. While most people probably don’t want someone else’s family crest tattooed on them, these family crests do have lots of great tribal butterfly tattoo ideas, and some of the design parts could be borrowed. Potential for black Monarch designs can also be found in Celtic designs. There are some beautiful and intricate inkworks combining a tribal design and Celtic knot work, for example.

A butterfly tattoo seems to work best at about actual size or less. That’s just my opinion, naturally, but this also gives you the option of adding to your lepidopteran collection over time, eventually collecting an entire garden of butterflies if you see fit.

In addition to the beautiful winged insect’s image itself, a secondary decorative image is often placed beside or intertwined with the first. A butterfly tattoo design can be in band form, with a Monarch falling in the middle of your band of intricate knot work or some other such design. A more modern look is the tribal butterfly tattoo placed within an art deco-style decorative design. I’ve seen secondary designs as simple as a row of gradated circles or dots. Beautifully simple and elegant.

As an example of more complex secondary designs, there are combinations of designs that could stand on their own such as a Japanese or Chinese character, or even part of a poem, entwined with your Monarch as calligraphy. So much has been written about butterflies that there is no lack of ideas for text to accompany your butterfly tattoo. If you are out of ideas, you could always consult my first article on this design style of ink, which covers a lot of general history and literary references to this charming winged creature.

Butterfly tattoo, anyone? That’s all for now about tribal and black tribal butterfly tattoo designs. In the next article, we’ll look at the possibilities for colored butterfly tattoo design. One last thing: your exquisite lepidopteran will be with you for the rest of your life, so please choose a skilled tattooist to ink the design, and maybe even more importantly, choose the design itself very carefully. You can find tens of thousands of designs on the Internet, and the better websites have an easy search interface, so take time to find what you want. Now enjoy your new ink!

Butterfly Garden in Beijing

If you are a nature lover and have a particular penchant for seeing butterflies from close quarters, make sure to visit the Butterfly Garden in Beijing. Located in Shunyi District at the crossing point of Huosi Road and Baima Road, this is the largest garden in Asia from where you can watch a wide variety of butterflies.

How to reach

You can board 916 or 980 from Dongzhimen to Dulanzhuang, get a transfer to 25, and get down at Nanlangzhongzhaohu Station to reachthe Butterfly Garden.Alternately, you can use the bus lines of 634, 331, 714, 696, 733, 360 or 318 to come here.

Best time to visit

Hundreds of butterflies hover around the garden during the months of April to October, making it the best time to visit the place.

Other Details

The Butterfly Garden stays open from 9:00 to 16:00 and you can get admission by paying 99 RMB.

What to do

In Beijing, the Butterfly Garden is the only garden where patrons can not only see numerous butterflies but also enjoy the mesmerizing view of a wide variety of flowers, which are cultivated here.

This garden, which is spread over 600 square meters, is divided into four sections, and almost 500,000 butterflies are displayed in them. While you can head to the four-season glasshouse to see butterflies from subtropical and tropical regions, the breeding workhouse is the place to head to if you want to see how chrysalises change into butterflies. Since people living in temperate areas seldom get the chance to watch and experience tropical butterflies, this garden, by its unique concept of displaying subtropical and tropical butterflies, finds many patrons from different walks of life.

30 breeds of butterflies can be seen at the Butterfly Garden in Beijing. Out of these 30 breeds, over 10 are listed as state-protected species. Since the garden organizes educational tours for students from time to time, students from nearby schools and institution are often seen participating in them to learn more about the different species of butterflies from close quarters.

For children, the garden offers interactive zones, where they can not only play with butterflies, but also learn to make paintings of their wings and have fun.

A section, which is surely worth stopping by during your visit to the place, is the butterfly wing exhibition. In this region, wings of deceased butterflies are used to create beautiful butterfly wing pictures. Whether you come here during the weekend or sometime in the mid-week, make sure to stop by this region.

While the Butterfly Garden in Beijing offers families a place to get up, close and personal with a wide variety of butterflies, it also offers the perfect setting for avid photographers who are on the lookout for a beautiful photo.

So, whether you want to know more about nature and butterflies, enjoy different types of butterflies flying around, or just want to understand nature’s biodiversity, Beijing’s Butterfly Garden will fit the bill perfectly. So, the next time you plan a visit to Beijing, make sure to include the Butterfly Garden in Beijing into your travel itinerary.

Animal Photography Basics – How to Get Great Photos in Your Backyard

Often when we think of wildlife we think of animals far away from home, but many people take amazing wildlife photos in their own backyards.

Photographing Furry and Feathery Wildlife

Depending on where you live, there are many ways to turn your yard into a wildlife haven for squirrels, raccoons, birds, deer, frogs and other critters.

While it’s true that we rarely do wildlife a service by feeding them from our cupboards, if you follow the wildlife attraction and sustainability tips from the National Wildlife Federation (they’re online) you can feel good knowing that you are giving back to wildlife.

You will also be creating an environmentally friendly landscape as well because what is good for the animals is also good for the environment.

Take a bit of time to read about the habits of the species you want to photograph and you’ll find it much easier to capture them with your camera. And you will be better able to avoid attracting potentially dangerous predators into your yard. You might also want to check out the code of ethic posted for professional nature photographers by the North American Nature Photography Association.

Just as with photographing pets, when you take a picture of a furry or feathery wild critter, follow these guidelines:

  • Use natural lighting to your advantage
  • Fill the frame with the subject
  • Focus on the eyes
  • Shoot from various angles
  • Capture personality

Photographing Insects

Wildlife photography also includes the miniature world of animals. Butterflies, dragonflies, snails, ladybugs, honeybees, bumblebees, spiders…these are all popular subjects.

Photographing insects can be tricky. Here are some tips from the pros to help:

  • Like with larger wildlife, it will help to know your subject’s patterns of behavior. Do the butterflies frequent one flowery shrub more than others? Then stake it out and wait for the subject to come to you. And be ready!
  • To get the best shots of small creatures at rest, use macro mode and fill the frame. Your camera’s manual will tell you how close your macro mode works. If you stay within the proper range and hold your camera steady, you will get some nice, crisp shots.
  • Unless the insect is very still, use sports mode or flash to freeze action.
  • Most insects are very sensitive to carbon dioxide and will run or fly away if you breathe directly on them. So when you lean in close for your close up, hold your breath! There are a few exceptions – some beetles will freeze (they won’t say “cheese” though.)
  • Keep in mind some insects and spiders pack powerful, even deadly venom, so know your bug before approaching.
  • Because insects slow down with cooler temperatures, early morning and twilight are easier times for capturing them with your camera. Insects can see shadows very well; so don’t approach from the same direction as the light casts.

Photographs of wildlife can make for beautiful fine art, the type that you’ll want to frame and display proudly and give as gifts. Another way to use your animal photography is in photo crafts – greeting cards, calendars, iron on transfers for t-shirts and much more.

Of Cats and Butterfly – Clocks!

Some people love cats, while some just detest them. What about butterflies. They are so cute you could possibly count of the number of people who think other in your fingers. And when these are taken up as clock designs, innovation it is all the way. The manufacturers have broken all the norms and have come out to play their business game in an absolutely mind blowing manner.

Clocks these days come with alarms that meow like cats. Awakened in the morning by the sweet sound and sweet purrs of the cat can be a wonderful experience. These days, digital types have come up where the cat is on the screen animatedly playing with its tail, chasing butterflies or simply snoozing. They are fun decors in children’s room or rooms of a cat lover.

You can make your own cat clock. Take the battery and ticking compartment out of an old one and attach that to a photo of your cat or kittens. You can think of ways to make the cat background dynamic. Else, a static background does serve the purpose

Some of the popular designs are black cats on their bellies. This one is fun to look at and comes in painted black wood and even artificial fur. You can make them from recycled greeting cards and floppy disks too. Butterflies are symbol of happiness, joy and sunny positivity. They come in umpteen designs. Every year new designs come up and one of them for sure contains butterfly in them. The alarms in them are of chirping and tweeting bird, giving the impression of early morning nature’s bliss as you wake up. Just makes the entire day!

To make your own butterfly type, you can print out some glossy pictures of beautiful butterflies or paint your own. Instead of going in for traditional butterfly, try to make some out of weird prints or mix match. This gives a cool new out look to the age-old concept. Design hands that are associated with butterfly, like flowers and grasses. Attach a ticking booth to it to make it work.

A recent design has the clock with 3 or 4 separate pieces of butterfly which can be placed in such a way as to create an impression that they are flying away from them. That is a butterfly one but with a nice creative twist. Improve your home d├ęcor with lovely designs.