In the Meadow

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.

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22 thoughts on “In the Meadow

  1. Is the eye part of their camouflage? It worried me that the butterflies came late this year–I don’t know if it’s because of this ungodly heat. I normally have more in the garden by now . . .

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    • I think the eye is to frighten would-be predators but it is interesting why some butterflies have them and others not. Interesting that you have fewer butterflies too; it is worrying.

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    • Me too Jane. I’ve been successful a few times. On this particular day, I was able to get fairly close as the butterflies were covered fairly well by the grasses and I was partly hidden from them! One down side, however, was that I was getting bitten by rather aggressive flies of some sort every time I stopped.

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    • Many thanks Sheila. I was so pleased to see a meadow alive with so many butterflies. There doesn’t seem to be as many around this year with the grey, rainy weather.

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