It's good to see that the national media has caught up with something we've been well aware of - that the number of butterflies has plummeted this year. Their interest - see Guardian report here - has been excited by a press release from Butterfly Conservation which reports that small tortoiseshell numbers have dropped by 73% since the 1970s, but we're sure it isn't only the tortoiseshell that's suffering.
Looking back in the blog, the only picture I have published this year of a small tortoiseshell was back in July - here - and I reported seeing one in a post in March.
In our wanderings today we saw several whites, and just one other butterfly - this peacock, which seemed intent on warming itself on the tarmac, and....
Anything I report is the result of very unscientific, very personal observation, but it's getting to the point where I think that us old ones, who can remember a world in which butterflies seemed everywhere in summer, need to start wondering what sort of countryside we're leaving to future generations.