Yesterday was too chilly for the butterflies to be about and, like much of the nation in the virus lockdown, Penny and I were busy gardening. But the combination gave me my best photo yet of a Peacock, a species which is so skittish and on the alert when flying in warm sunshine.
I fetched the wheelbarrow which was upturned on a pile of weeded brambles and ivy and, shortly afterwards, notice a familiar traingle in the bottom of the barrow. It was a Peacock roosting in the chill and, goodness, was it difficult to wake!
After prolonged if gentle prodding, it finally opened its wings - clearly using its protective reflex as it was far too torpid to attempt to fly. The effect of the wings flashing open to reveal their bright eyes is certainly startling; even at my great age and with much experience of such things, it gave me a small start, as well as great pleasure. I wonder how many Peacocks escape doom by frightening off predators in this way. One da, perhaps, I will see the process in action for real; or maybe find an example of it on the net.
The butterfly remained completely passive but, luckily for photography, kept its wings open as I tempted it on to my fingers. There it stayed, until I deposited it gently into the shelter of some long grass and scrub.