Friday, 23 August 2013


There were butterflies all over the place yesterday afternoon, sitting on walls, hanging on to the roof slates, outstretched on any convenient lump of rock and, when they flew, only managing short, haphazard flights before they landed back in a sunny spot.  All the resting points they chose had one thing in common: they were in the sunshine.  And the resting butterflies were stupid, flopping around in the light breeze, and allowing a camera so close it almost touched their wings.

There were two good reasons for this bucolic behaviour.  One was, of course, the bright sunshine after several dreary days, and the other was our garden buddleia, which is in full flower.  Watching them feed, from the best vantage point which happened to be the bedroom window, it was interesting that they were only exploiting the flowers which remained in the sun.  They reminded us of overindulgent drinkers in a pub garden on a sunny day.

As always, the main species on the buddleia were peacocks (left in the picture) and tortoiseshells, more of the latter than the former.  But who would have guessed that the dark, saturnine butterfly in the top picture was a peacock?

To add to the pleasure our local butterflies give us, here is a glorious picture from Martin Summers of a marsh fritillary so tame it sat happily on someone's arm.

Martin says that its main food plant is devil's bit scabeus, of which there is plenty in flower at the moment.  So, hopefully, we might see a few of these lovely butterflies too.

Many thanks, Martin, for the photograph.


  1. I am 90% sure that the marsh fritillary is a dark green fritillary - very profuse this year.

  2. Hi Maureen - thank you for the correction. Jon