Tuesday, 2 June 2020

#30DaysWild, Day 2, Butterflies in the Garden

Speckled Wood, 1 June 2020

I decided that one of my lock-down projects would be to take part in the Garden Butterfly Survey laid on by Butterfly Conservation. The photograph above, taken yesterday, shows the first Speckled Wood we have noticed in our garden since May 2018. It was almost my first butterfly sighting for June.

But I am jumping ahead of myself as this post, representing my Day 2 activity of #30DaysWild, is to note the butterflies I saw in the garden during May. I have highlighted each of these species in my paragraphs below.

Sadly I have seen very few Orange Tips this year, due to lock-down restrictions. I hope the Large White population will increase as we come to the second brood in a few weeks time. There should be plenty of Small Whites here in June, particularly if my Nasturtiums finally put on a growth spurt. It was lovely to see two Green-veined Whites since they are not common garden visitors. It is always a particular joy to see the buttercup-yellow of a male Brimstone, and I am so pleased that one put in an appearance. It seems very sad that I failed to see a Peacock during May, though David has already spotted one nectaring on the Ox-eye Daisies for June. I am longing to see my first Small Tortoiseshell of 2020, particularly as others have mentioned recent sightings. I was excited to read that there have been a few Large Tortoiseshells in certain parts of the UK, including in Norfolk: how wonderful it would be to see one of these. The Small Copper is a fairly new addition to our garden list, and a very welcome new arrival.

Small Copper, May 2020

We watched the first episode of BBC Springwatch on iPlayer last night, and were delighted to discover that our number of Holly Blue sightings was pretty much in line with Chris Packham's list. I have never seen (or noticed?) so many of these beautiful insects. They make me revisit the poem 'Blue-Butterfly Day' by Robert Frost. It takes us back into April, but, in my opinion, is well worth a read. You can find it here in a post from First Known When Lost by Stephen Pentz in Seattle, USA. Speaking of blue butterflies, I was delighted when a Common Blue alighted on a on a yellow ?Hawkweed flower on 20th May.

Common Blue, May 2020

I hope that June will bring more Comma butterflies and my first Red Admiral. Unexpected butterfly sightings are always exciting, and I was absolutely thrilled to see a single Green Hairstreak on two separate occasions. I wonder what the next surprise will be.

Green Hairstreak, May 2020

P.S. There is still time to consider submitting a five-line poem for Photo Challenge 3 (Puffin) over on The Glow of Emerald Light. The challenge is open to all who are 18+: please check the guidelines on the site. My hope is that you will have a go. It's good to remember that much can be said in very few words. You have five lines at your disposal, and may find it helps to recall Bashô's famous three-line frog Haiku: you will find a number of translations (of varying line lengths) here. Happy writing!


Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

One of the biggest contrasts in moving from Dorset to urban Halifax (West Yorkshire) is that butterflies are no longer an every day sight. I put nasturtium seeds in my window boxes, hoping at least to attract cabbage whites (!) but they haven't come up. It may be that the seed was too old or it might be that they were squashed by the cat upon sprouting.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

A green hairstreak is an excellent thing to find in the garden!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Lovely butterflies to have in your garden!