Monday 14 March 2016

First Butterfly - Just!

The spell of settled sunny weather that has settled on the Southeast (now that we've seen the last of Storm Kevin and his long swishy tail) has been delightful - but, for the butterfly lover, frustrating. These are days that look like spring - the strong crisp sunlight, the jewel-bright colours, the haze of swelling buds and early leaflets on the trees -  but, thanks to a chilly East wind that never eases off, they feel like winter. Not only has this cold spell drastically slowed down what looked like being a crazily precocious spring, it has also meant that these sunny days that look so butterfly-friendly have yielded, day after day, no sightings of early fliers. Today I did a little tour of likely local sites - places rich in sunlit sheltered spots - and once again was unrewarded. I decided to walk back along a residential street - and there, at last, I saw, or rather glimpsed, my first butterfly of the year. It was flying - or rather being blown - past at shoulder height, and I saw just enough of it to be sure it was a Small Tortoiseshell. I gave chase - no, not waving a net - but it had vanished away as suddenly as it had appeared. Not the most satisfying first sighting I have had - but definitely one of the later ones. I blame global warming.
 The painting is A Study in March, or Early Spring (1855) by John William Inchbold.

No comments:

Post a Comment