Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site

Drunken Butterfly of Alonissos

Butterfly on Gerry's Arm Late September 2003 we were sat at a taverna table at Steni Vala having a post lunch drink when a large butterfly flew around and landed on Gerry's arm.  It then flew off and landed on the edge of Gill's glass of red wine.  Unable to get close enough to the wine in the glass to get a drink the butterfly flew off and we thought that was the end of that.  However the lure of the wine proved too strong.
Having circled around for a while the butterfly came back and landed on the table.  Seeing this happen Gerry scooped some wine into the hollow of her finger nail and the butterfly walked up to her nail, unfurled its proboscis and began to drank the wine.  We were totally gobsmacked and our immediate reaction was to see if Frank could get a picture.  Unfortunately when he started to pick his camera off the table it disturbed our visitor who flew away and landed on a nearby flower.  Obviously enthralled by the antics of the butterfly we were fascinated to see whether it would drink out of the wine glass so Gill drank the majority of the wine, just leaving a little in the bottom of the glass.  Gerry turned the glass on its side and we waited with baited breath.
It wasn't all that long before our alcoholic friend decided that more red wine was the order of the day.  So back it flew, landed on the table and headed straight for the glass.  Frank decided to keep the camera on his lap so he was ready when the butterfly arrived at the edge of the glass.  We watch as the butterfly extended its proboscis into the red wine and started drinking.  The level went down alarmingly.
We sat without moving or talking until the butterfly had drunk its fill and decided to leave.  In rather unsteady fashion it flew off the table with rather less control over its wings than before it started drinking.  The butterfly landed on a nearby plant and probably wondered what had hit it.  One can only admire its capacity for alcohol and probably had a great tale to tell about the red liquid that has a headier effect than boring old nectar.
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