Time for some more Butterfly photos… Apologies, but I’m making the best of it! Friday saw the most Peacocks I’ve seen since I was a young girl and remember Buddleja bushes full of butterflies…
8-9 Peacocks on the one in the back garden, probably more on the front too.
Surely this is the opposite of what SHOULD happen after all the rain? Over the past 4 years I’ve had a steady increase in flutters… And last year I had 3 Peacocks and 2 Red Admirals and was ecstatic, so a jump to 8/9 seems crazy. Although I have had fewer Commas than normal, the most I’ve seen so far is 2 and hope I have eggs laid on the nettles (still haven’t managed to spot the caterpillar on there, but leaves keep disappearing so there must be at least one!)
Has the rain meant there have been plenty of lush plants for the butterflies to eat? Perhaps it’s because people were less diligent with their gardening because of the rain and caterpillars were able to survive longer? Interesting.
They also like Thistle – this is Tuberous Thistle, a British native. It will self-seed everywhere (no evidence yet, but this is its second season). The bonus is that the Bees and Hoverflies also love the Thistle. (Oh and be warned, this Thistle has really fine but painful spikes on it!)
I’ve also noticed that as the end of summer draws in, the Butterflies are much more relaxed and I can get close to them easily. Saturday I had two close encounters, first with a Comma; I was in the front garden pulling up poppies to collect their seed and noticed a Bee land dazed on a Geranium leaf… I was just leaning over with a stick to help the Bee up onto a bloom and right next to my arm was a Comma! I attempted to get it to come onto my finger but it eventually flew off. Then, later in the afternoon I’d spotted a very washed out and tattered Gatekeeper fluttering around. She landed on a Rudbeckia and I attempted the same – to get her on my finger. I managed a few legs but she did eventually flutter onto the next bloom (couldn’t fly too well, so I didn’t push her). Even the Peacocks didn’t seem to mind me walking past (no Mary Poppins attempts with them though)