Sunday 9 May 2021

A Good Portent

 To judge by the number of online sources offering to interpret them, I am not alone in having butterfly dreams. They can mean, it seems, all manner of things, most of them, as you'd expect, good. My butterfly dreams differ from most, perhaps, in being highly specific. Last night, for example, I dreamt I was strolling on a not very promising patch of marginal downland when I looked down and saw a pair of Grizzled Skippers. Delighted, I pointed them out to a passerby, who seemed unimpressed – understandable, I suppose, as these tiny, moth-like creatures are not what you'd call spectacular. Their beauty is quiet, understated and small-scale; you need to look closely to appreciate it. 
Anyway, taking this dream as a good portent, I set out this morning for a spot where I had seen several Grizzled Skippers last year. The weather had turned suddenly warm, with intermittent sunshine, but I was not too hopeful as a strong wind was blowing, apparently from two quarters at once, and wind is bad news for small butterflies. There were Brimstones flying in abundance, with a fair number of Orange Tips, Peacocks and the odd Speckled Wood. And then, as I drew near the patch of downland that was my target, suddenly at my feet was a single Grizzled Skipper, on the path, with its little wings spread. As it was showing no inclination to brave the wind and fly away, I was able to spend several minutes admiring its subtle, spangled beauty. The promise of the dream was fulfilled, even though that single specimen was to be the only one I saw today.   

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