May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~ an Irish blessing, to be sure, to be sure, to be sure
Now, I know I’ve been posting quite a few butterfly photos lately but I just adore them and, as summer will soon be over and they’ll disappear for another year, I can’t help but share their beauty while I can. So, as well as that gorgeous Jersey tiger I showed you yesterday, here are just a few of the 16 species of Lepidoptera from Lavernock Nature Reserve on Thursday: there were 4 Brimstone butterflies; large numbers of Common blues; this pair of Large whites mating; 5 Painted ladies; 2 stunning Peacocks; 4 Red admirals; 2 Silver Y moths that just wouldn’t keep still for a sharp photo; and only my second-ever Small copper that got scared off when someone came walking down the path towards me.
The Painted lady (Vanessa cardui) is supposed to be quite a common butterfly but I’d only seen two this year until this morning’s butterfly fest at Cardiff Bay, in a tucked-away spot full of Buddleja, Ragwort, Hemp agrimony and other assorted wildflowers.
The nectar bonanza was being licked up by four Painted ladies, two Red admirals, one Small white, two Meadow browns, and two Common blues. What a riot of colour they made!
Yesterday I was celebrating the return of the Sand Martins, today it’s the turn of the butterflies. We’ve had 4 days of wall-to-wall sunshine and daily high temperatures in the mid teens which has encouraged all the small critters we share our world with to emerge and get active. And it’s a wondrous sight to behold!
These two, a Peacock (Aglais io) (top) and a Small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) (below) were in one of my local parks. They flew in together and sat very close like this for at least ten minutes, after which time I walked on. It’s unusual to see them like this and one of my knowledgeable friends speculated that the Small tortoiseshell might me a confused male, showing an ‘interest’ in the Peacock.
I saw these three, plus another Peacock and some Small whites that were too fast to photograph, on a walk along the local coastal path on Friday. They’re a Comma (Polygonia c-album) on the left, a Speckled wood (Pararge aegeria) in the centre – one of eight I saw on this walk, and a Painted lady (Vanessa cardui) on the right. The Painted Lady is a long-distance migrant, flying back to Britain at this time of year from the desert fringes of North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia so it’s no wonder it’s looking rather battered.