Thursday, 23 April 2020

Birthdays and Butterflies

Today, St George's Day, is the putative birthday (in 1564) of William Shakespeare, a poetic and dramatic universe in himself – can anything more be usefully said about him, or asked of him? An awestruck silence is perhaps the most appropriate response – that and continuing to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest his works. As Matthew Arnold put it, 'Others abide our question. Thou art free. / We ask and ask – thou smilest and art still, / Out-topping knowledge.' He dramatises everything and states nothing; he is hardly there.
  As it happens, today is also the birthday (in 1901) of the evolutionary geneticist and lepidopterist E.B. Ford, author of the first of Collins's great New Naturalist series – Butterflies. I've written about Ford – a most extraordinary characterbefore on this blog. Today I use his name as a shameless link to my latest Nature Notes update...
  Yesterday, then, I took my state-sanctioned constitutional on an area of local downland, and had the wonderful surprise of seeing two of the loveliest of spring butterflies – neither of which I expected to find, and neither of which I had seen there before. First, the tiny, moth-like Grizzled Skipper, and then the beautiful Green Hairstreak with its emerald underwing (both are pictured in this post from last year). This has been a very good April for butterflies (and moths – I saw another early Hummingbird Hawk the other day) – and it's not over yet.


  1. I'm so ashamed to be reading a blog that highlights St George's Day, Shakespeare's putative birthday & the birthday of EB Ford but doesn't mention the start of Ramadan (runs away, stifling what some might take for sarcastic laughter but, as I have just watched the BBC London News, full of Ramadan, but entirely omitting St George & Shakespeare - although possibly the omission of Ford was almost forgiveable - I can tell you it was actually the sound of someone grieving for the England of their childhood).

  2. Oh dear me yes – I so agree, Zoe.


  3. شركة كيان لنقل العفش بالرياض والمدينة المنورة وجدة ومكة والطائف والدمام تقديم لكم دليل كامل لشركات نقل العفش بالمملكة العربية السعودية
    نقل عفش شركة كيان
    دليل شركات نقل العفش
    شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
    شركة نقل عفش بجدة
    شركة نقل عفش بمكة