What an amazing world we live in, instantly connected around the globe through our little screens or devices. However, more than this, I am reminded of the amazing world which I am lucky enough to be part of. This weekend many people in Myanmar have been in festive mode with the Thadingyut Festival of Lights which is celebrated on the full moon of October. I have written about Thadingyut before – it is a very spiritual and beautiful festival.
I decided to head out in the early evening on Saturday, the full moon day and first day of Thadingyut, just as the light was fading. I wanted to wander around my neighbourhood with my new toy – a Nikon SLR which I hardly know how to work. This would be a bit of practice, but also a lovely way to start the evening and the opportunity to see the way the different houses and buildings were festooned in lights and candles to mark the festival.
And crowds gathering at the temples.
As I was walking down the road, watching my step carefully as this was where I fell badly earlier this year, I spotted something moving on the pavement. I could not see it clearly, but it looked like a very hair caterpillar and that called for some further investigation.
As I looked more closely and trained my lens on the critter, I realised that there was a highly interesting specimen in front of me. This was no ordinary caterpillar – this was a very shiny being, wearing a luminous green outfit and set in a body which seemed to impersonate pine foliage. It was the weirdest shape and did not look as if it belonged to the world we know.
I must have looked extremely odd, crouching over this beastie, taking photo after photo. People slowed down and I learned the Myanmar word for caterpillar and more importantly, that this little fellow bites! He was also camera shy and continued his trek across the pavement, ignoring the fact that his pic would later be shared on Facebook and generate a fair bit of interest.
It seems that he is some kind of banana tree resident and has quite a vicious sting with poison-tipped spikes. I have consulted Professor Google but not yet been able to conclusively give him an accurate label. I showed his picture to friends and colleagues here and it seems he is a fairly elusive chap too as no one had seen anything quite like him.
Despite his alien appearance he is very much of the world that I live in. What a reminder that we live in a fascinating and surprising world indeed. And this is yet another reminder that my own surroundings have a particularly exotic flavour.