And now the butterflies…

This has been, (so far), one of the loveliest April’s I can remember. I know memories are short, deceptive and often just plain wrong. But I know 2003 and 2012 both had amazing April’s.

2003 I spent most of in either Pembrokeshire or Devon and Cornwall – which, to be honest would transform the shittiest April into something special.
2012, it was mainly Begard, Brittany.

Anyway… this one has been (so far], almost perfect. And the butterflies have played no small part. So I give you:

A Large Tortoiseshell no less!

Taken on the 17th of March, the first day back after the winter. In the porch, wanting to get out… I snapped it because it was the first butterfly of the season. Not because I knew it was a Large Tortoiseshell, and yet… there was something about it that gave me pause…

I only revisited the photo in light of an ongoing much discussed influx of Large Tortoiseshells to the UK. And, yes it is/was. My butterfly season got off with a huge bang, and I almost didn’t notice.

Male Orange Tip. There’s a lot of their preferred plant, Cardamine pratensis here, but not normally on my doorstep! However, the plant is somehow there and the butterfly found it…

Speckled Wood. I have a soft spot for but them, but as they’re so common here it sometimes means I just dismiss them by saying ‘Oh it’s just a Speckly…’ That’s not fair. They’re a reliable, beautiful, feisty, but not aggressive, little butterfly with real character.

Green-Veined White. No one says this is their favourite butterfly. But they don’t try to kill it obsessively like they do the Small and Large Whites. Probably because you need to really look to see the difference…

Green Hairstreak.
This is special for me. Not super uncommon. But it’s not something you would see outside its preferred habitat. Here it’s gorse and broom, and damp-ish valleys. Plenty of those here.

My first encounter with this butterfly was in North Devon/North Cornwall… the deep valleys/fissures walking the Coast Path. In April and May. Sunny, warm but then a downpour. A damp-aired environment…

To have them in the garden here’s a joy. Tiny, aggressive, combative things, but strangely relaxed and ready for a photo opportunity when the time is right!

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