I haven’t mentioned Purple Emperors in this blog this year – because I haven’t been out looking for them. A combination of lots of work, lots of rain, lots of time with Henry and lots of MoT work being done on the car has meant that nipping out to see this glorious butterfly has been tricky.
But in between the rain of Friday and the rain of Sunday I set off in the sun of Saturday thinking that I was probably too late – and I was right. Butterflies are great for reminding us to carpe diem – if you don’t then you’ll miss them. This year, Black Hairstreaks and Purple Emperors have slipped by without me seeing them, and, as usual, Dukes of Burgundy remain off my British list of butterflies. Maybe next year – as I always say.
But there were butterflies to be seen – several White Admirals, some top-of-the-oak-trees Purple Hairstreaks (so we did have purple in our lives on this little trip) and a variety of commoner creatures, with some cracking Commas being the stars.
In the grassland there were Large Skippers and much smaller skippers, which on close examination suggested themselves to be Essex rather than Common Skippers, but I almost always walk away wondering whether I had seen the colour of the underside of the antennae well enough to be sure.
August is the month for Adonis Blues, Silver-spotted Skippers and Brown Hairstreaks but I usually get to September without them distracting me as there is Hen Harrier Day and the Bird Fair to act as major distractions. But we’ll see – carpe diem (it the sun shines)