I hadn’t seen many butterflies this year due, in part, to the rain and grey skies and also fewer wildflowers. I could have counted the butterflies I had seen on the fingers of one hand until Sunday when I walked through a wildflower meadow – part of the grounds of Mottisfont House and Gardens, Hampshire.
Apart from one heavy shower in the middle of the day, it was warm, dry and sunny and the meadow looked so beautiful – filled with an assortment of grasses and scattered with pretty daisies and self-heal (prunella vulgaris) as featured above. I was amazed by the sheer amount of butterflies which were cleverly camouflaged against the grasses and flowers. Once the eyes had focused properly, however, tens of Meadow Browns (featured here) and Large Skippers could be seen particularly in each patch where self-heal was growing. It was delightful.
Butterfly Conservation are running a Butterfly Count from tomorrow for a couple of weeks. It will be interesting to take part and to eventually discover the findings.