This insect and the Lakeland poet
beheld nature's colours fair enhanced;
The rose he gave the girl was black
as black as blood from prick of thorn.
"And the host of golden daffodils
with heads that danced upon his glance?"
Red as primrose in winter's hand; the
hawthorn's flowers are this insect's gold.
We tend to make the mistake of thinking that flowers are there in nature for us to admire their beauty, but of course flowers are really there for the world's insects; and to the insects the colours of the flowers are completely different from what we humans imagine. A flower's pattern may not only be a different colour but in some cases may even be invisible to the human eye. In the above poem, to illustrate the point, I have taken the liberty of lumping Burns together with Wordsworth to create a universal Lakeland poet, although Burns was of course on the other side of Hadrian's Wall. But it's only his "red red rose..." I really take.
As we have recently 'discovered' (using the metaphors of the robin and the squirrel) there are no 'real' colours 'out there' in the natural world, the so-called universe.