Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Nectar for the Butterfly

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 n
either 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!

1 comment:

Debbie/GardenofPossibilities said...

Susan, Like you, I try to take as many photos of the butterflies that visit my garden and then document the ones I see. I have a great book of butterflies common to CT but it can still be difficult to tell some of the apart. Once you start paying attention it's amazing how many different butterflies you see.