Saturday, 18 July 2009
An Unexpected Peacock
This year, to give the butterflies a much-needed helping hand through the rain-soaked, wind-lashed 'barbecue summer' (as the Met Office whimsically designated it), I've let the Buddleia bush grow and grow, until now it's up almost to roof level and out across the notorious stable door, via which (readers with long memories might recall) burglars forced entry the winter before last and discerningly stole my laptop and digital camera. All this Buddleia so near the house can have pleasantly surprising results. This morning, groping blearily for the kettle, I was startled by something dark and panicked fluttering around by the kitchen window. It was, I realised with delight when it settled - a Peacock butterfly, which must have flown in through the stable door the previous day and roosted inside. I rescued it with a cereal bowl and a sheet of paper and returned it to the Buddleia, where it is still feeding, obligingly posed for the camera - but, alas, the battery is flat on my (replacement - and higher spec - thanks, burglars!) digital camera, so that's someone else's photo up there, and very lovely it is. For a while my Peacock was joined by a Painted Lady. This may not have turned out to be a barbecue summer, but it is certainly a Painted Lady summer. Hurrah for that!