This long hot summer has been good for butterflies and especially for Silver-washed Fritillaries. On a drive though Old Park Wood, I counted 12 over the length of a mile track. Some of the males are beginning to look a bit tatty now after a busy few weeks chasing females and avoiding birds. I saw my second Painted Lady yesterday too and maybe they are just about to arrive in bigger numbers. 

Its always tempting to be over-tidy in the garden or the wood and hack down brambles but where would the fritillaries be without them ? Spear Thistles are so worth putting up too with as butterflies and bees love them; the temptation to scythe them down is always strong as they are such prickly plants to have around. 

The wood is looking pretty sad now after four weeks without any rain, the Chestnut trees are shedding their flowers en masse, which is probably a response to drought. The winter was pretty wet so their roots must still be able to access moisture....lets hope so.

Large White on thistle flower

A tatty, male Silver-washed Fritillary

Female Silver-washed Fritillery

Painted Lady feeding on Fleabane.


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