Thursday 16 July 2009


We must keep out eyes peeled and take our small pleasures where we find them. This morning my commuter train came to a halt in a spot where the line is bordered by a fine ragged mess of grasses, ragwort, hawkweed and wild pea. And there, fluttering about in the morning sun, were a pair of Gatekeeper butterflies, lovely little creatures (and, as I remember from my netting days, just about the easiest to catch) - and, as it happens, the first I've seen this year. They're called Gatekeepers, by the way, for their habit of haunting field openings and bits of hedgerow, from which they never fly far. This unexpected sighting was a much needed heart-lifter on the way in to a dismal workday...


  1. Delightful Nige. Your butterflies keep our spirits up too.

    I remember when I used to work in the City I used to walk to the office through Finsbury Circus, usually head-down, preoccupied by the day ahead. One day I looked up into the plane tree canopy overhead - lime-coloured leaves, mottled silvery bark, the space flooded with sunlight - and had a feeling of release, almost exhilaration. Helped me every day from then on. Chemically quite strange, really.

  2. Yes you're so right Gaw - and London is a city amazingly rich in trees. Also, I believe, in rare and wonderful building stones from around the world - but, as I'm no geologist, they're rather lost on me...