Monday, 12 April 2010

Here comes the sun

More moths soon, but I can't resist diverting just for today to butterflies. We hear an awful lot about their decline in the UK, especially in the national media. Having worked for that for nearly 40 years, I have a healthy scepticism and this weekend it was reinforced. What we lack is not butterflies but sun. Out it came, wonderfully, and out came the butterflies too, just like all the people who were sunbathing - yes, in early April - in the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey, another practice which the glum would have us believe to be a thing of the past. At home, we had this Comma, several Peacocks and a Green-veined White and my Mum reports from three miles away: "I have been watching a small dark butterfly on a sunny wall. I am sure it is a butterfly and not a bumble-bee." It looks duller this Monday morning, but I live in hope.


Phil said...

Sometimes I could almost believe that a permanent glass-half-empty attitude is an essential character trait for anyone involved in conservation Martin. I've lived in the North East now for 40 years and seen large increases in populations of several butterfly species that used to be rare or unknown here - orange tip, comma, small skipper and most recently speckled wood - but this isn't something that's reported much.... even though its a cause for joy .... I sometimes think that more people might engage with wildlife conservation if we accentuated the positive a bit more ... (I feel a song coming on)

MartinWainwright said...

I think you're right Phil. We don't get won over by endless doom-mongering and, goodness, you'd think people would be familiar with the Boy who Cried Wolf now. And the point about enthusiasm and delight being infectious is true too (although I have come across people whose gloom seems to increase in the presence of anyone vaguely sunny...) all v best M (I know that song and sing it too, although only when I am alone in the car).