Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Bright arrivals

What a relief. I was getting seriously worried that our soggy summer was going to deny us the beautiful Vanessid butterflies whose arrival towards the end of summer coincides with the blooming of the honey-drenched buddleia which they love.

Hooray! Yesterday's lovely sunshine - the sort of weather we should be having and have been largely denied - brought out three Red Admirals and a whole flutter of Peacocks. We were in a bit of a rush because we took advantage of the day, and a day off to boot, to head for Middlesbrough and climb Roseberry Topping, best of mini-mountains; but I managed to get this quick pic of a Red Admiral basking on a warm, white window frame.

This is a habit the Vanessids indulge, sun-bathing when they are not feasting on buddleia nectar. A call from the bathroom then alerted me to another, a Peacock, which had taken this habit too far and come inside to sun itself in even warmer circumstances (albeit ones which could do with a lick of paint). Butterflies can often batter themselves badly when they come indoors; but I opened the window more widely and off he, or she, flew.

Interesting isn't it, btw, how dark the undersides are of the wings of these specially glorious creatures? Here is another Peacock illustrating the point while it sups rapturously away.


Stokelymort said...

Roseberry Topping. Affectionately referred to locally as The Cleveland Matterhorn towers over my small bungalow beneath it in Nunthorpe. You and Penny could have popped in for a cuppa Martin!
My Buddleias also enjoyed the company of Red Admirals today.
Ray (& Christine)

sarah meredith said...

Hi Martin, I am really sorry about your cool, wet summer. I know that a lot of people over this side think that England is always cold and wet, but I know better. I remember it as having utterly lovely weather both summer and winter - though definitely colder and wetter the latter!
I am envious, however, if not of this summer's weather then definitely of your country's ability to produce such gorgeous Buddleias. 26 years ago, when we bought our first farm, the first thing I planted was a Buddleias only to discover that it was way too cold up here. They exist in NYC, but that is two growing zones south of here. So enjoy your sunny days and your gorgeous blossoms and butterflies!! xxs

MartinWainwright said...

Hi both! Ah Ray and Christine, I wish we'd done. I love Roseberry Topping. We'll hope to call in another time. Isn't it a relief about the Red Admirals et al?

Sarah, Hi there! We've just come in from an AMAZING day at the Paralympics. Truly inspirational and incredibly well-organised. What a shame about buddleias in your otherwise paradise. Not for nothing are they nicknamed the 'butterfly bush'.

xx from both of us

M & P