|Grape hyacinths (probably the common garden kind - Muscari armeniacum).|
April 11th 2013
|Cluster Fly (Pollenia). April 11th 2013|
11th April was the first day it really felt spring-like. It wasn't just that boats were being lifted by crane into the water, ready for summer sailing, or that drifts of steam were rising from rocks on the beach nearby, or that bright yellow lesser celandine flowers were, at at opening - and bees and hoverflies gathering on their petals in numbers . . . it was all of it together.
Then, yesterday, I came across this Comma butterfly. The UK Butterfly site says Commas are one of five species in the habit of hibernating here. (See their FAQ page. The others are Brimstone, Large Tortoiseshell, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock.) So, what I reckon is - if commas are appearing, it must be spring!
|Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album) - April 19th 2013|
With its wings open, the Comma is bright and easily noticed.
|Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album) April 19th 2013|
Closed - and it turns into a crumbled old brown leaf . . . a leaf with a white comma on it!
* * *
In October, I came across Red Admirals on ivy. They may well have been gathering to migrate to Africa - but Red Admirals are sometimes hibernating here too.
Comma on UK Butterflies Site
Comma on Steven Cheshire's British Butterflies Site
The Comma butterfly in this post was sitting on the leaves of Alexanders (Smyrnium olustratum). Is anyone able to say if it's a male or female?