Sunday 5 October 2014

Summer's End

The summer that came back to life as August became September and lasted, warm and dry, right through that month and into October, finally became autumn this weekend. On Friday I was down in Hampshire, doing some convivial church crawling, and the sky was clear blue, the sun shone all day, almost as hot as high summer, and late butterflies flew - Red Admirals and Speckled Woods galore, with the odd Peacock and Tortoiseshell. The next morning cloud and rain swept in, with startlingly chilly air, and suddenly it was autumn; the glorious late summer was over.
  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?

No comments:

Post a Comment