Wednesday 23 June 2021

Dark Green and Marbled

 Life is proving very busy, or at least time-consuming, just now, on several fronts – domestic, grandparental, medical (don't ask), literary (ditto) – hence the relatively sparse posting. Today, however, I did manage to get to one of my favourite local butterfly haunts. The sun was shining intermittently and it was warmer than it has been for some while, so I was hopeful of seeing good things. Sure enough, soon after I arrived, I spotted two Dark Green Fritillaries sparring vigorously in the air, about six feet above the flowery downland. As I watched, a large blue dragonfly that was cruising nearby charged them and sent them packing. Soon afterwards I saw a few more DGFs, two of them settled and nectaring, allowing me to get close enough to have a good look. The more I see of these fritillaries, the more beautiful they seem to me, with their chequered tawny-white-and-black upperwings and the subtle green patterning of their underwings. Quite large, fast-flying, bright and distinctive, they are always a joy to see.

Also a joy to see were my first Marbled Whites of the year. This is another uncommonly beautiful butterfly, one of the cheering sights of high summer, and one of our butterflies that is increasing its range – or at least it was until this year's dismal spring and early summer. 
As there were still Small Blues flying, and I saw my first Large and Small Skippers of the year, I headed home with my spirits much lifted, to resume the busyness of life. 

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