This gorgeous Painted Lady butterfly chose Sunday to make an appearance in the garden – in the nick of time to get recorded on the last day of the Big Butterfly Count – perfect timing! Like the hummingbird hawkmoths, these beautiful butterflies are also summer migrants from North Africa and in some years they arrive in their thousands. They only live for a few weeks so it’s amazing that they can emerge in Africa, fly over to the UK and still have time to spend a few days gorging themselves on the nectar in our garden!
Possessing slightly less obvious beauty is this Old Lady moth, which coincidentally I was trying to photograph just as the Painted Lady came flaunting herself around the garden on Sunday morning. About the same size as the Painted Lady, the Old Lady is much more sombrely coloured and clearly less agile, as she flew off with a laboured flapping, as if she was really too heavy to fly. I say “she”, but of course this particular Old Lady could have been a “he” – I didn’t examine it that closely!
Can’t think why but I felt closer to the slightly batty old lady than I did to the bright young thing!