Sunday, 5 October 2014
What a summer it was too - the second properly warm, dry summer in a row, this time following a dismally wet winter and early spring. August was a sad disappointment, but high summer was quite magnificent, with day after day of blazing sun. And butterflies - yes, it was another great butterfly year, almost as good as 2013. For me, it began well, in March (a Comma in Holland Park on the 7th, then Brimstones, Peacocks - a brilliant year for them - Speckled Woods and Whites large and small). One May afternoon gifted me my first Grizzled Skippers in years, and splendid Adonis Blues (more at the far end of the summer). I had a happy reunion with the Small Blue colony in Dieppe, where I also saw my only Clouded Yellow of the year - and later, back in my usual haunts, I had the wonderful surprise of a Purple Emperor, the second of my life.
Good year though it was, I missed out on some butterflies I might have hoped to see - no Hairstreaks at all - and saw disappointingly few of some (Marbled White, Small Copper). But it was a wonderful year for Peacocks and Red Admirals, Commas, Tortoiseshells and those beautiful, increasingly ubiquitous Speckled Woods - what more could you ask in the way of everyday abundant beauty?