Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Wednesday – Butterflies

Ok, so the flutter photos have been building up for a time now… So yep, lots of photos again!

We’ll start with this Large Skipper

This is my first year with the perennial wallflower ‘Bowles Mauve’ and well, what can I say? Butterflies really do like it. I always see the Small Tortoiseshell on there – it even ignores the Buddleja in preference of this! And now this skipper, I wonder what else it will attract.

It then chose to feed on the Privet blooms; if ever there was a reason to allow your privet to bloom it’s for the Butterflies and Bees. Ours is alive with insects fluttering and buzzing along it at the moment. Earlier today I even rescued a little Bee, and placed it back on the privet – full story to come another day, this post will already be long enough :)

Speckled Wood and Gatekeepers also love the privet

I’ve discovered that the Small Tortoiseshells really love the perennial wallflower, please if you haven’t already – get some! You won’t regret it, I promise :)

I think this one must be an older one as its colours are somewhat washed out, it probably over-wintered here.

Compare the colours to this one, which I assume has probably only emerged recently:

Here we had two on the same Buddleja bloom, one is lighter than the other and its wings are more tatty.

And here’s an indication of my dedication… I was laying on the grass at this point, when first a Peacock landed on a bloom a few inches away and then a Small Tortoiseshell landed on a bloom even closer…

I love how the hair is catching the light, you can really see the iridescence of their colours.

Also, here’s a good reason to have Feverfew in the garden… (look to the right, there’s a Peacock)

And, Ragwort (this Peacock butterfly actually looks fake here!)

Look how velvety the wings are? I think this must’ve also recently emerged.

And purely because it looked cute, playing peek-a-boo…

Copyright 2011 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.


shirl said...

Fantastic butterfly shots, Liz. Love your creativity and lengths you go to ;-)

Yep... as you know Bowles' Mauve a winner here too. Should add, last winter wiped all my plants out. Plan protection and cuttings for replacements, well worth it, you’d agree :-D

Don't have privet and neighbour regularly prunes his but had some unpruned at a holiday cottage once and was amazed at how many insects were drawn to it. It's well worth keeping some untrimmed. Wondering now... perhaps it could be grown as a for thought ;-)

PatioPatch said...

Got the privet, buddleia & perennial wallflower but still no butterflies other than whites. Yours is a beauteous and bountiful collection, Liz - will keep you busy doing the butterfly count

Liz said...

Hi Shirl,

Haha, well normally I don't have so many problems trying to get photos, but these flutters were really jumpy. I'd just tried to stalk one by creeping along on hands and knees, but scared it off. I decided to lay on the grass and was just wondering how long I'd have to stay there when along came the Peacock... Eventually my neck really began to ache and my hands were getting tired holding the camera up. So almost had a snooze on the lawn! lol.

Ah, I assumed Bowles mauve would make it through winter... mmm, well I already plan on covering up the Verbena Hastata so I'll just have to also protect the wallflower, thankfully they're both in the same border so will be easy enough.

If you have the space then it's definitely worthwhile attempting to have a privet or two; perhaps you could use it as a small screen in the garden or attempt to keep it as a small bush. It does have a strong perfume too - not a smell I personally like but I imagine you will (I think it's just a personal thing). All I did was lightly trim the privet before flowering and once it's finished I'll trim it harder to keep its shape.

Liz said...

Hi Laura,

Sorry to hear you don't have the flutters visiting, hopefully you will do soon!

I suspect our good collection is because we aren't far away from woodland, and I assume there are plenty of nettles and of course grass for the flutters to lay on. Also someone a couple of houses away for some reason has decided to leave his front garden this year... yes it looks a mess, but it's full of long grass, ragwort and other wildflowers so I imagine that's attracting plenty of flutters and moths! I wish I had the space to allow an area like that in my garden.

Pete said...

nice range of flutters. Small Tortoiseshell seem to be doing well this year. yet to see a painted lady

VW said...

The peacock is amazingly beautiful. You either have an abundance of butterflies or a lot of patience. I've only attempted a few shots of the bumble bees in my garden and it's so hard to catch them holding still. Haven't even tried the birds. Maybe butterflies are more sedate in their movements?

Shady Gardener said...

Your photos take my breath away!! And that's all I can say! :-) Thank you for this beautiful post.

Andrea said...

lovely shots you got there, i specifically like the last one with only a hint of the wing at the back of seemingly like a hedge when cropped like that. I am new here, just followed a comment by Shady Gardener to Randy Emitt.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I enjoyed your lovely butterfly photos. I've been taking some and not getting them posted yet. (I came here from a link Shady Gardener left for Randy.)

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz,

Lots and lots of lovely butterflies.
So pleased they are back with you.
The weather must be warmer your end of the country.
It is still so changeable here....raining at the moment.

I so wish I could grow wallflower.....wouldn't take a chance with the rabbits, they ate them the first year I was here.
Visiting your blog makes me realise just how many plants I cannot grow here.