"Photographing the pretty butterflies are ya? That's called lavender, that stuff is!"
I'm rather gratified they actually know what lavender is, but funny looks and shout outs I suppose is an occupational hazard to the urban naturalist. But I wasn't going anywhere, because smack in the middle of the lavender amongst the bumblebees, was a female common blue in absolutely perfect condition.
A middle aged couple joined me, and I told them what they were looking at as the little lady obliged with showing off both the uppers and undersides of her wings. "Look at him, he's pretty!" "It's a female actually" "Is it? He's still gorgeous." *facepalm* *facepalm* *facepalm*.
I got some decent shots in between the odd conversations.
In the afternoon I took myself off for a 15km run to Hawton and Farndon, a route I've avoided for a while thanks to my injuries, and it turned out to be a warm old afternoon. Initially the only flutterers the heat brought out were the ubiquitous large whites patrolling the hedgerows, but when I got to the Farndon Boathouse, things were rather different.
I've been bemoaning the fact that the buddleias this summer just don't seem to have had the butterfly customers you'd expect; the ones by the river in town or up on Beacon Hill Reserve should be bent floorwards by the weight of nectaring peacocks and red admirals, but this summer has been hopeless.
However, this particular plant was sporting a good number of peacocks, and amongst them, my second lady of the day. A painted lady in fact, my first of the year.
It seems that we were promised millions of these elegant orange butterflies this year, but the expected mass migration hasn't occurred. Perhaps they read the Daily Express. But I was very happy to see this one, and as long as it isn't claiming benefits or anything, it might not get deported.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 11.08.15
|A pair of small whites stopped dancing for a second|
|Female common blue|
|Beautiful detail on the wing underside|
|Upper Devon rather unhealthy looking|
|Still a few poppies about|
|Ready for harvest|
|New to me along the river! Wonder what it is.|