Monday 17 January 2022

An Unexpected Rescue

I was just returning from my afternoon walk, of which more later, when a flash of colour caught my attention on the path leading to my garden gate in the communal yard.

I was utterly gobsmacked to see a small tortoiseshell butterfly creeping along the flagstones.

Heaven knows what it was doing awake, as it was cold last night and hardly mild today, although it was sunny. I can only assume it's hibernation had been disturbed by something. 

The light levels were low, and it was scuttling just a bit too quickly to get good photographs alas, but I got a couple before deciding the best thing to do would be to rescue it and pop it in the clematis in the back of the yard to see if it could find a place to sleep. 

The months between now and May are the ones I love the most, as I track the arrivals of new flowers, insects and birds. But I really was not expecting a butterfly in January!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 17.01.22



  1. A brave and daring rescue, Captain. I'm not sure whether Tortoiseshells can survive waking up during their hibernation, I know that some species can.

  2. And that butterfly is a beauty. There has been a very bedraggled one hibernating in my garage for weeks but it has disappeared from its usual place while the sun has been out this week.

  3. Nights are still very cold even if the days are bright