Chris Behan writes:
I have always appreciated butterflies in the garden. Margaret and I once had a garden with a large buddleia shrub, which in summer was covered with a blanket of colour. Butterflies.
I think I could recognise a red admiral and a cabbage white (was it a small one or a large one?) and that was it. Then, about three years ago, Martin (a friend for the past 30 years and a butterfly expert amongst other things) decided that he would introduce me to butterflies on our walks through “Midsomer”. Thanks to Martin I can now recognise a common blue, both male and female.
Since coming to live in Sulgrave I have walked the local footpaths and bridleways and in summer photographed the views, the flowers, the bees and the butterflies. But this year there has been an absence of butterflies. I’ve only seen two red admirals, one common blue (male) and one meadow brown in our garden. Strangely though, there are a considerable number of whites, great and small, this year.
Can anyone explain? Is this another example of climate change or the wet winters we have had in recent years?
Hopefully they will be back next summer but, in the meantime, here is a photographic record, taken over the past two years, of what we may have missed this summer.
See next page for the photographs.
Bee and Lavatera
Common Blue (Male)
Small skipper and wasp