A glorious sunny day yesterday, so naturally I headed for the butterfly-haunted Surrey hills, in hope that the Chalkhill Blues would be flying. I was not disappointed: these pale beauties (as a child I used to think the chalk of the hills had given them their colour) were flying in their hundreds, maybe thousands - almost what you might call, at risk of causing offence, a swarm. No, more a liberal spangling of the grasslands and flowery verges with flying, nectaring, sparring and basking Chalkhills. Several times I saw Chalkhill Blues and Brimstones together feeding on Wild Pea flowers, something I'd never seen before - I wouldn't have thought the Chalkhill's proboscis was long enough to reach the pea flower's nectar... No Adonis Blues this time - perhaps a little early - but a memorable highlight: looking down from the path to check out a low-growing Buddleia at a little distance, I spotted something quite large and showy working its way round a flowerhead. It was hidden for some while, but then it reappeared and, after a short while, flew off - and I realised it was a slightly faded Dark Green Fritillary, the spectacular, strong-flying downland frit, and the first I've seen in several years. The high point of a fine butterfly day.
Nige, who, like Mr Kenneth Horne, prefers to remain anonymous, was also a founder blogger of The Dabbler and a co-blogger on the Bryan Appleyard Thought Experiments blog. He is the sole blogger on this one, and his principal aim is to share various of life's pleasures. These tend to relate to books, art, poems, butterflies, birds, churches, music, walking, weather, drink, etc, with occasional references to the passing scene.