Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Such as it is, the deceptively cool British Warm Spell of recent years is potentially very good news for butterflies - as is proved by this heartening story. The doughty little Duke of Burgundy (not a Fritillary, by the way, but our only Metalmark butterfly), just barely clinging on in this country on by its four tiny legs (the other two are vestigial), has managed a second, late-summer brood again. As the Duke is so fussy about its habitat - its food plant, the cowslip, must be growing to just the right height, in just the right combination of sunshine, warmth and shelter - this is no mean achievement, and might mark the beginning of a slow comeback. As the man says, 'We are forever underestimating butterflies'. And the rest of nature, come to that.