Perfect weather for butterflies, including Silver Washed Fritillary. Bright sun with a high of 27-28 degrees and, sometimes, a whisper of breeze stirs in the canopy.. Butterflies love it, how will we fare? A herd of cows shelters beneath the trees where we plan to park and we share their shade.
To the greenwood. Here is sunlight, dappled shade and banks of shadow. And all the mysteries of a mid-summer woodland to discover, out of the shadows come butterflies.
Bramble flowers are looking good. Hemp agrimony buds flush lilac but have yet to open fully. Purple loosestrife looks lovely. There are myriad small butterflies but Silver Washed Fritillary is my hope, and they’re so restless we focus on them, learn their behaviour and habit.
A flash of sunlit gold against the deep cool shadows of the woodland trees. Silver Washed Fritillaries are all around us. They patrol the woodland fringe and fly out of the shadows and over bramble flowers and some seem attracted to my friend’s white sunhat, aborting flight so close before us. We become familiar with the rhythm and pattern of their flight. Useless to try for still images but I take videos where the large butterflies show in sunbursts of deep gold.
It’s hot but we find plenty of shade and the morning is delightful. We plan to return, now we know exactly the conditions the butterflies like and where we might find them.