Butterflies

It didn’t rain yesterday, so I took advantage and came home for my lunch.  When I got home I discovered that the butterflies had given up waiting for any sunshine to warm the air and were just pleased that there was no rain for a change – I guess they were getting pretty hungry as well.

This year has been pretty bad for the butterflies, with only the occasional sunny day.  We have had quite a few red admirals and whites when the sun has come out, but have seen no painted ladies this year and very few tortoiseshells.  

Brimstone ButterflyAnother new butterfly that I have noticed in the garden this year (in addition to the Holly Blue in the Spring) is a Brimstone (Gonepterix rhamni) one or maybe more of which have been coming to the garden intermittently for the last couple of weeks.  I normally associate these with Spring as they are one of the first butterflies that I see when the sun starts to come out in March and April (this year being a bit of an exception).  

They are easy to recognise; varying from yellowy green to a yellowy cream colour depending on whether they are male or female (males are darker coloured).  Their leaf shaped wings that they always fold back when feeding and resting have an orange spot, the veins improving their camouflage when resting beneath a leaf as nicely demonstrated in the picture that I managed to grab the other day.

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