Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Meeting not One but Two Charming Ladies...

A nice early start, a session of reading and studying at the library, and a fine time keeping an eye on the lavender beds in the library gardens much to the amusement of some local lads walking by.

"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

Right butterfly

Left butterfly

Female common blue

Beautiful detail on the wing underside

Upper Devon rather unhealthy looking

Farndon peacock

Painted lady

Still a few poppies about

Ready for harvest

New to me along the river! Wonder what it is.


  1. Ah yes you got some real beauties there Simon. I remember when I was taking photos of a squirrel, a man walking by and saying in disgust "Why are you taking pictures of those nasty tree rats?" Oh well, if they don't get it they just don't get it do they? ;) Thanks for stopping by. Your guess was spot on.

  2. Thanks! This town is worse than others, better than some. What always does worry me in the current climate is when I'm taking photos of bees and butterflies at the park. It is not unknown for people to be attacked here if someone thinks they might be taking pictures of children.

  3. Yay for the Painted Lady! I haven't seen many myself this summer either. And you're quite right- where are all the Admirals and Peacocks?

  4. Funny you should say that about buddleia Si - I only said this to the farmer yesterday. Ours is in full bloom but no sign of butterflies.
    I love that magnificent peacock.
    Also the corn looks really ripe - unlike ours up here.

  5. There must be an issue with the timing of bad weather in summer. The skippers and blues have had a fantastic time of it, but the cold June must have really messed up the breeding of peacocks and led to a much reduced second flight.