The warm sun quickly dried vegetation, after an overnight shower. I searched the brambles- late flowers, ripening fruit and luscious blackberries. A tapping came from the hazel beyond, a nuthatch perhaps. Hoverflies were nectaring on bramble flowers. A comma butterfly settled on a blackberry. Its wings are ragged, like leaf-margins. Colours run and blur, seeping like blood from dark blotches. Lurid and maculate as bramble leaves in autumn. The bramble patch is all thorns: blackthorn, rose, bramble and hawthorn. And delicate wings.
The image top left is a comma butterfly on Farrer's Allotment and it's a fresher specimen. This morning's butterfly has some damage to the hind-wing. But I had the opportunity to photograph it to show the shape of fore and hind wings, and the ragged outline its wings make.
Left, bramble leaf and blackberry. Right cherry leaves
Compare the close-up of comma butterfly wing pattern with these autumn leaves. The borders of the leaves are toothed, ragged like the comma. The blotches of decay are not dissimilar.
Jan Wiltshire is a writer and naturalist living in Cumbria. She take photographs.