Even more butterflies…

On Wednesday, the sun was shining brightly so I decided to take an amble up our road to see if I could find a ‘new’ or different butterfly to photograph. After a few shots in an around the parking area, I wandered further up the road and was feeling a little despondent as it felt like ‘all’ I’d seen were the usual suspects – Damon Blues, Spotted Fritillaries, Meadow Browns and several Marbled Whites (so many in fact, I didn’t even take any pictures since they were so ‘common’). I took some comfort in having found a very strange looking black caterpillar with yellow stripes across its back and some weird looking things coming out of its sides. (See pic 4, which I later discovered was an Alder Moth caterpillar).

I wandered back down the road thinking that was it, when I was stopped in my tracks by a magnificent orangey brown butterfly with some white markings and a tail. (I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a Brown Hairstreak – see pic 14). Whoopee, I thought, a new one, exactly what I was looking for. And while I was there, a Brimstone landed right next to me and it was swiftly followed by a very scruffy looking Comma. Things were suddenly looking up. Suitably re-energised I carried on snapping away and even went into ‘the trench’ behind the road to capture a few more.

As you may gather, apart from a few obvious ones, butterflies are simply white, blue, brown or yellow to me, at least until I look them up. So I expected a lot of the pictures to be duplicates or even triplicates. But it was only when I went through my photos to identify them yesterday that I realised (assuming my id’s are correct) I’d captured 20 different butterflies.

I’m now suitably ashamed of myself for being so pathetic and not appreciating even those which I’ve seen and photographed many times before. I’m truly lucky to be able to see all these magnificent little creatures less than 100 yards from on my doorstep.

Once more, as in my post of “A Dozen Butterflies” of last week, it turned out that all of these images were taken inside 1 hour 20 minutes. In order to give you a flavour for how it sort of works, I took a video while standing in the trench. (See end of this post). It will never win a Wildlife Film of the Year award, but you’ll get an idea of how easy it is to capture so many butterflies in such a small area in such a short time. It shows at least 8, possibly 9, different butterflies in the 2m 20s or so of the film. I hope you enjoy!

P.S. The Happiness Engineers at WP have pointed out that I’ve been setting my Post Format to ‘Gallery’, which seemed reasonable to me since almost all my posts contain a gallery. However, when included with text, it has the effect of leaving the email blank (apart from the title of course). So this one is set to ‘Standard’ AND I’ve changed the Feed setting (under Settings – Writing) to ‘Limit feed to excerpt only’. So, we’ll see what happens… 😊

12 thoughts on “Even more butterflies…

  1. Wow! I’m impressed by all these great images of different kinds of beautiful butterflies. So much colors and so much joy. Yes, you should really feel very lucky to be able to see so many and so close to where you live. Even if you prefer to discover new ones, each butterfly is unique in itself

    I guess most butterflies have left Malta and where you are instead. I have only seen a very few but on the other hand, it is very hot here now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Anita. I’ve just had a quick flick through my book of European butterflies and it suggests that you should get a few like swallowtails, some of the white ones and quite a few others. Many are spread around the Med or in Sicily, so I guess it must come down to when the flowers are at their best, which might be February or March for you maybe? I don’t recall seeing any when we were there, but then we were more interested in the beach and the buildings! 😊

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  2. I looked up why butterflies are so abundant in the Alps, and read that because of the rugged terrain and high altitudes, the Alps have escaped intensive farming and human development, allowing butterflies to proliferate. I am always dazzled by the abundance of butterfly species you have in your region, Mike, and this post was another butterfly bonanza. Your photos capture their beauty, and I really enjoyed the video. Everywhere the camera turned, there was a butterfly!

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    • Many thanks for your kind comments Jet. Yes, the farming around here is very traditional and still quite labour intensive. (Big machines don’t work very well on small, sloping fields!) The farmers don’t cut the grass/fields until July, so that must give the butterflies and the birds a chance to breed and/or develop. It’s also clear from the distribution maps on this website: https://www.lepido.ch/cartes-de-distribution that the Alps is where the action is! I hope the video shows how I can just turn away from one and find another without really moving too far. I’m very privileged indeed. 😊

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    • I don’t know that many either by sight. I was photographing one today and a lady asked me what it was called. I had to admit that I didn’t know. (It’ll be the small brown one with 4 black spots, I think from memory, in my next post!) That said, even if I’d known it in English, she spoke to me in French and I would never know the French equivalent. (I’m enthusiastic, but have a hopeless memory!)

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  3. Extraordinary variety. And even the Meadow Brown looks more exotic than ours over here (in the UK). A bit of envy creeping in now. But seriously, great to know such havens exist. And thanks for sharing the pics.

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    • Yes, it never ceases to amaze me how many different ones there are when I get back and look at the photos in detail. (The blues especially look very similar). I just snap away hoping to get a decent photo or two before they fly off. There were a couple of very faded brown ones yesterday that I couldn’t identify, so I left them out. (See today’s post). Rather bizarrely, most of the butterflies that I saw were not lower down but near to the top of the mountain. Though I put some of that down to it being a ski resort and the ski runs seem to devastate the landscape.

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  4. I love the shot of the butterfly and the bee together! And the video showcases just how abundant they are flitting about everywhere. I think you’re outnumbered Mike! Another wonderful post, thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

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