After I posted my red ngutukākā/kakabeak picture (previous post), I received a message from a stranger on Facebook offering me white ngutukākā/kakabeak (Clianthus puniceus) flowers from his garden for my art (thank you John). How could I refuse?! I already had the monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in my freezer – I’d found them (already dead) months earlier. The quiet, subtle colours of the white ngutukākā/kakabeak and whekī/rough tree fern (Dicksonia squarrosa) foliage were the perfect backdrop for the dramatic colour of the butterfly wings.
This was around the time of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. After I made the monarch butterfly picture, I turned the kakabeak flowers into a silver fern for the All Blacks – all ready to celebrate their amazing victory. And….then they lost.