We are reflecting on a summer which seems to have disappeared without abundant rays of sunshine we remember from previous years. Off course there were a few warm days, I wore a t-shirt twice! September has arrived, perhaps our garden will still invite a few late butterflies. The sedum is late to flower but the buds are starting to show pink. This shrub attracted Peacocks, Painted Ladies and Small Tortoiseshell in August through to September before. Dad is busy preparing the soil to plant new sedum and a few other butterfly attracting plants. We planted a buddleia this year, it's still tiny but a few stocks of purple flowers have attracted the Green-veined White, the Large White and a few Small Tortoiseshell while they fluttered over the garden.
On Sunday dad happened to be looking out if the kitchen window. He spotted a white butterfly, out he went with his camera, knowing it wouldn't settle long enough to take a photo but what he saw was incredible. The butterfly fluttered frantically from leaf to leaf of the nasturtium. He kept watching when she went under the large flat foliage. We have rapid fluttering photos but they are being kept as when the butterfly left dad checked under the leaf pads and found minuscule butterfly eggs! They are incredible, tenaciously hanging on under the leaf. Macro shots show they aren't just yellow dots as this is how they appeared to our eyes. They are oblong with ribbing detail ending with a tiny dot. Two leaf pads have three clumps of eggs below them. We know many gardeners would be cross as the caterpillars will soon find their food but after a 'summer' pursuing butterflies we welcome to this sight and hope to follow the progression towards new butterflies in the spring.
We started watching intently late in the season but have experienced enough of the wonders of the butterfly world to feed our minds and curiosity. Books are being read, noted and learned from, thank you Matthew Oates and Patrick Barkham! Jeremy Thomas our source of reference plus the advantage of searching online to identify new finds and submit the data to CEDaR, Northern Ireland. We didn't stop at butterflies as we couldn't explore a patch without discovering even more about nature. Dragonflies, damselflies and even a frog, he jumped out and scared me...photo failure!
This weekend alone added a Holly Blue butterfly (the first one we have seen at any time and not in abundance in NI) the Small Copper beauty graced the scrub grasses and two Common Darter dragonflies sparkled in the glint of sun we had on Saturday. I have added our new finds to this blog to encourage others to keep looking. Summer may not have been glorious but nature found time to bring joy to our hearts. I feel extremely stressed when I see groups of people enjoying a party or a group meeting, I just don't have confidence to belong to situations like this. Give me a wildflower patch, my camera and I will bring dad along....this is the type of place we can forget time, move slowly, observing details most just pass by.