Thursday, 16 August 2012

Blue is the colour...

...of my favourite butterflies. And here is a lovely one; not in France or some such warm and exotic place, but here in Leeds, this afternoon, while we were having tea.

"There's a Holly Blue," said Penny, with impressive assurance, and moments later I was standing on a garden chair and snapping away as the butterfly danced around our wisteria's second, and lavish, flush of flowers.

Interestingly, it crept around all over each flower head rather than making a beeline, or butterflyline, for the anthers and stamens. Normally I find small butterflies to be skittish, especially when I am wanting them to be still, but this one was most obliging.

Although this has been a terrible year for butterflies so far, August looks like making some amends and today's warm sunshine brought out a Small Tortoiseshell, a Red Admiral, a Comma and plenty of Small and Green-veined Whites. Plus the Holly Blue.

Now for less boastful news; thanks to Robert Homan and his kindly way of guiding me to the Truth in comments on my last post, I now know that yesterday's mystery moths were, from the bottom up, a Small Phoenix, a Yellow-barred Brindle and - goodness - a Meal Moth. I've written about this in the past for the Observer, as one of the handful of moths whose caterpillars cause damage to clothes or food, (and therefore obsess the media) and always imagined it to be a small, silvery-grey thing like the 'clothes moths'.

Instead - and here it is again, above - it's a beautiful little micro moth, so distinctive that I really wondered if the lamp had attracted something new. Ah well, it is new in the sense that I haven't recorded it here before, nor the Yellow-barred Brindle either. So good has come of all this.