Late afternoon on Monday ended up being a pretty glorious kind of day, and with the buddleia now out in flower around the town, I thought it might be a nice sort of day to go out and look for butterflies.
It's an odd sort of thing to do in many folk's eyes, but it gets me out of the house, gets me exercising and is of course a boon to my mental health.
My greatest fear during lockdown was that we wouldn't be allowed out of our houses at all.
As it happens, I didn't have to go very far to find my first butterfly, as right outside my door in my little yard, a male gatekeeper was feeding very placidly off the ragwort I have allowed to grow (read - can't be bothered to dig up) and is actually a more attractive source of pollen than the flowers I've tried to grow myself in various pots and planters.
So, after managing to get a photo or two of this unusually co-operative gatekeeper, it was off for a walk to Cottage Lane Nature Reserve, taking in the various big buddleias I could remember on the way. Nothing on the one by Mill Lane Bridge, but the one down the side of the secure mental health unit was covered in butterflies.
There was even a rather tired looking brimstone feeding, and to catch one of those motionless is a real event, let alone get a photo of one. There was a really nice comma too, kindly showing off its, er, comma.
The cherry on the cake - mating ringlets in Cottage Lane reserve itself!
A very worthwhile walk indeed!
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 05.07.22