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As I walk slowly along a narrow footpath between tall stands of meadowsweet and willowherbs, thistles and fleabane, I catch, out of the corner of my eye, a fleeting flash of orange, and quickly turn my head towards it, follow it, try desperately not to lose sight of it. I’m in luck. It settles, turns, opens its wings. And I don’t know whether to be overjoyed to see this most unexpected, glistening Small copper or saddened at the thought that this will, in all probability, be my last Small copper sighting of the year.

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