Betterflies

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia. She came across this charming bridge on a recent walk. I like the wooden rails, a contrast to our stone parapets here.

We had some welcome rain overnight, but it had cleared away by the time that we were up and about. I got back to my archiving routine after a weekend off and put several pages into the Archive Group newspaper database after breakfast. Then I went out to check on the caterpillars.

After nibbling a lot of the leaves on the house side of the drive, they were on the move today and I found a good number on the nasturtiums on the garden side of the drive.

We were pleasantly surprised to receive an early visit from Dropscone who was seeking advice on a nifty device which he had purchased but couldn’t make work. It was beyond my skills to make it work, so he went off to play golf with the problem unsolved.

Margaret came round for coffee and she brought the sunshine with her.

After coffee I went out into the garden to find that the butterflies were really enjoying the sunshine too. The garden was alive after a very quiet year.

The buddleias are going over, and as a result there was a shortage of flowers which led to some peaceful co-existence . . .

. . . and some ugly scenes of butterfly stamping. . .

We had red admirals (above), small tortoiseshells . . .

. . . and a few peacocks.

I was distracted by other flowers for a moment. There are roses actual and potential . . .

. . . and dark dahlias and bright sneezeweed.

I went back with an early lunch in mind, and took a moment to check on the bird feeder. Blue tits cannot chew our sunflower seeds whole, so they sneak in, grab a seed and then fly off to a nearby bush, where they put their foot on the seed and peck it to bits. Look carefully and you will see a seed trapped under this blue tit’s claw.

At the feeder itself, siskins and sparrows competed for position.

When they got a place at the table, extravagant gestures were to be seen.

The early lunch was in aid of an early afternoon ride round my familiar Canonbie circuit on my push bike. At Wauchope Schoolhouse, I found that last year’s white bulls had been replaced by bulls of a darker hue this year.

I passed a scene that brought our current political situation strongly to mind.

I found a more pleasing scene later in a small wood planted to protect a big house from the prevailing weather.

I didn’t stop after that as I was intent on keeping up as good a speed as I could after a slow start to the ride into the wind. I got home in plenty of time to check on the caterpillars, still nibbing nasturtiums . . .

. . . and the butterflies . . .

. . . which were still fluttering by.

It was hard to avoid seeing butterflies . . .

. . . and the occasional other insect too.

I like to take pictures of the butterflies with their wings open and their handsome patterns displayed, but all the same, I think that this was my favourite butterfly picture today.

Nature really has got symmetry licked.

The rest of the afternoon was spent Zooming about indoors. First I enjoyed a remote recorder lesson with Matilda and her father. Alistair has bought Matilda a very good recorder tutor book, and she is working through it well with him.

Then we had our regular Zoom with my brother and sisters. My sister Mary was missing as she had gone off to a lecture on ‘Portable Antiquities’. I think of myself on a bicycle as a portable antiquity but I think her lecture was on other things.

After rather gloomy news on the radio and telly, the evening was brightened up by watching Only Connect, an interesting quiz show on TV.

The flying bird of the day is a sunny sparrow.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “Betterflies

  1. I rather suspect that there were no rails of any kind on that bridge when it was first built.
    I like (if you see what I mean) your political analogy.

      1. Perfect analogy.

        I have only seen maybe three butterflies here all summer. We don’t get as many at the coast as I would see when I lived in Seattle, but still….Also, buddleia is on the noxious weed list here, and it was by far the best plant for attracting butterflies so I do miss growing it.

  2. The flowers and butterflies are still putting on a colorful show. When do you normally see your first frost?

    I enjoy “watching” your birds. We are getting a fair number of English sparrows now. I sighted what I think was a downy woodpecker at the suet, the first in a long while. He displaced a chickadee at the suet, which did not please our little visitor at all.

    1. We can get an overnight frost any time from late August onwards but the nights have been very mild this year.

      We only very occasionally get woodpeckers in the garden. The last one was in March 2020!

  3. That’s a lot of butterflies. And caterpillars.
    I just ran into some native sneezeweed the other day. It’s an unusual plant with its winged stems.
    I was happy to see the Lillian Austin rose again. It’s a beautiful thing.

  4. I’ve watched my blue jays take sunflower seeds in the shell and hold them with much as your blue tit did, then peck at the shell until it cracked and eat the insides. Same with the unsalted peanuts in the shell that I sit out, but I’m most amused by the skill they have in holding a small sunflower seed.

    1. The camera may be deceptive as they are quite slender and not very long. The caterpillars do deposit an amazing amount of poo. I read that they do it to deter attackers.

  5. Are those beneficial caterpillars on your nasturtiums? My how large. I’m growing nasturtiums to eat and to keep pests away from my vegetables. I don’t think we have those butterflies here, so hopefully the nasturtiums will wield some power over my pests. I can’t believe even the butterflies are competitive — “stamping”! Oh my word. And finally, you were funny about the “portable antiquity” but anyone who’s pedaling as often as you is of a more lively state. An enjoyable read, as always. 😃

    1. The butterflies are known as cabbage whites and eat brassicas, I know that nasturtiums are used to protect brassicas but we don’t grow cabbages so we are reasonably happy to see the white butterflies flitting around the garden.

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