It has been a beautiful September day today - sunshine, warm air and a lovely breeze - good gardening weather. I started the day with a walk down the lane to the postbox and back, which woke me up nicely...birdsong, a peaceful start to the day.
I was about to start tidying one of the borders by the circles when I noticed the Sedum Spectabile 'Brilliant' covered in bees, wasps and butterflies all savouring the nectar. So I had to get my camera and try and capture the moment and postpone the gardening. The butterfly in the photograph is a Red Admiral, quite common by all accounts, but nontheless beautiful. The second butterfly was a Comma,smaller than the Red Admiral and less flashy - there must have been at least five or six of these on the plant.
Later in the day I saw more clusters of butterflies on the Verbena Bonariensis, this time they were neither Red Admirals nor Commas but Painted Ladies.
In the evening light a fourth type of butterfly was spotted. Smaller than the others and with distinctive pale bluespots along the lower edges of its wings - a Small Tortoiseshell.
I have planted lots of nectar-rich plants in our garden in the hope of attracting as many insects, butterflies and birds as possible, so I am very happy to see these varieties of butterfly in the garden.
The search to identify these butterflies led me to a very helpful website - www.ukbutterflies.co.uk - and one I'll be using more often. It has even helped me to identify the type of Cabbage White that is devastating my broccoli for the second year running - so not all butterflies are welcome here!