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My mis-spelling of the word fritillaries is deliberate – the darn things never keep still. They’re either constantly flitting from place to place at a great rate of knots or, when they do settle, they either disappear into the long grass so you can’t find them or they perch on a flower to refuel but never stop flapping their wings for a moment.

190621 small pearl-bordered fritillary (1)

Those are my excuses for the Small pearl-bordered fritillaries in today’s photos being out of focus and/or obscured by blades of grass!

190621 small pearl-bordered fritillary (2)

Still, I spent a glorious few hours with them, and their cousins the Marsh fritillaries, at Aberbargoed Grasslands National Nature Reserve. A little patience was required, as huge menacing clouds kept rolling over but, in the gaps between, when the sun came out, so did the butterflies.

190621 small pearl-bordered fritillary (3)

It was a magical way to spend the summer solstice!

190621 small pearl-bordered fritillary (4)