Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Flutterbys and Mirths in the Garden ~~~

Gentle Reader ~~~

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.  ~Rabindranath Tagore

oh Flutterby Butterfly ~~~ you delicate, darting, jewel coloured darling ~~~ settling, flitting and flighting, darting, settling, flitting away again ~~~ fly away, fly back, and away again ~~~ busy, busy, busy, butterfly, flying all around the garden ~~~ alight on my arm for a single, magical moment, and away again to the flowers to drink nectar rich ~~~ fairies in my Garden ~~~

One of the things that brings much joy in the Garden is the presence of butterflies, for their fleeting lives are full of beauty, colour, and the urgency to feed and lay their clutches of eggs to ensure the next generation is established ~~~ of course, the eggs hatch into caterpillars and that, sadly, means competition for the food and flowers ~~~

The delicate beauty of the wings, stunning iridescent jewel colours, soft velvety textures, and mosaic patterns leave me in awe at the magical essence of a butterfly.

Aside from being beautiful, butterflies perform an invaluable job in the garden too, for as they feed so they carry pollen on their hairy wings and bodies, so pollinating the plants to make fruits and help to ensure the next generation of plants is nudged on its way for next season ~~~

"To a Butterfly" by William Wordsworth, 
I've watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly!  Indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless! - not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!

Here are a few that graced the garden with their presence just this week ~~~ I will do my best to identify them, but I am no expert so please, do not quote me!

Green Veined White Butterfly on Marjoram
Green Veined White Butterfly on Marjoram

A majestic Tortoiseshell ~~~

Montage of Tortoiseshell  Butterfly
Close up showing pollen coating hairs on butterfly

Tortoiseshell Wing Detail

There can be no doubting why the Buddleia is also nicknamed the Butterfly Bush ~~~

This simple and innocent looking butterfly will, in caterpillar form, decimate your cabbages in a trice! 

Small White {a gardener's nemesis}

Oh, I do not think this is a Common Blue at all! That is a very noble, indeed a quite uncommon shade of blue ~~~ don't you think?

Blue-Butterfly Day - Poem by Robert Frost 
It is blue-butterfly day here in spring,
And with these sky-flakes down in flurry on flurry
There is more unmixed color on the wing
Than flowers will show for days unless they hurry.
But these are flowers that fly and all but sing:
And now from having ridden out desire
They lie closed over in the wind and cling
Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire. 

Common Blue on Mint Flowers
Montage of the Common Blue Butterfly

Here is the darker, but equally as stunning Wood Skipper in a country lane near the Cottage ~~~

Wood Skipper

A brightly coloured male Orange Tipped Butterfly alights on an Osteospermum ~~~

Butterfly Laughter - Poem by Katherine Mansfield
In the middle of our porridge plates
There was a blue butterfly painted
And each morning we tried who should reach the
butterfly first.
Then the Grandmother said: "Do not eat the poor
That made us laugh.
Always she said it and always it started us laughing.
It seemed such a sweet little joke.
I was certain that one fine morning
The butterfly would fly out of our plates,
Laughing the teeniest laugh in the world,
And perch on the Grandmother's lap.

These three are of a Gatekeeper, also know as a Hedge Brown ~~~

Close up with wing detail

Then come the Mirths {moths} ~~~ that is just me being silly with words again ~~~ but moths do bring much mirth I think, almost as much in their own late at night way as the flutterbys bring in the day ~~~

Moths are not easy to identify and to the best of my knowledge this beautiful white one with a fluffy collar looking most regal is a Muslin Moth {but equally could be a Brown Tail or a White Ermine ~~~ I am no expert!  It was a very rainy day and the flashing was quite splashed but I spotted him against the white board, despite his camouflage ~~~

My best guess at the identity of this rather regal, ermine~necked beauty is a White Ermine moth, which seems rather appropriate looking at its neck ~~~

The ghostly, and spookily scary White Feather Moth ~~~

Can you spot this one? I could barely see it in amongst the berries, but spot it I did ~~~ possibly a Silver Y?

The caterpillar of the Mullein Moth ~~~

A voracious devourer of any leaf from the Mullein plants ~~~ but what a beauty it is ~~~

I have absolutely  no idea what this is, but it was barely visible against the wall ~~~

Another mystery moth ~~~

The next two images are of butterfly eggs ~~~ well hidden on the undersides of leaves ~~~ but see how different the two are?

This scary beast is the caterpillar of the Elephant Hawkmoth ~~~

and finally, butterflies do love to bask in the sun, on a warm wall or leaf ~~~

Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.~Hans Christian Andersen

Until next time
Sincerely yours


  1. Lovely close up photos. The ones you have labelled as Red Admirals at the beginning of the post are Tortoiseshell. The ones basking in the sun are Red Admirals
    No Flutterbys here today - Just Rain and more rain

    1. Thanks Sue. This entry was a total nightmare to put up as I lost it, or parts of it, several times so it is full of mistakes. I've already corrected three grammar and spelling errors too and the spacing is dreadful. I do know my Red Admirals from my Tortoiseshells and Peacocks {which I lost completely} but my fuzzy head cold hasn't helped either. It has taken me three days to sort it all out. I'm sure there will be more ~~~

  2. Deb, what great variety of fairies you have captured through your lens! Just beautiful--I've never seen many of these that you have shared. I do love the common blue butterfly on mint in your montage---not common at all--gorgeous! I also spotted a green upside down beetle? on the mint flower to its left. Great photography my friend! May many butterflies visit your garden today. xo ♥
    P.S. Your writing is just beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Dear Martha Ellen ~ I think the colours of the mint complement and enhance the blue of the butterfly well. Lucky! Now, I shall have to investigate that beetle! I hadn't noticed it, that is how bad my eyes are at present. Thank you for your kind words on my writing, I've lost the muse of late and am trying to get back on track ~~~ Deb xo

    2. Your muse is on track, dear Deb! I do hope you are feeling better soon! xo ♥

  3. Your photos are amazing.
    I love William Wordsworth poem about the butterfly, beautiful.
    Fondly Michelle

    1. Thank you, Michelle. I do love poetry, and especially William Wordsworth. I am always dipping in and out of many poetry compendiums. ~~~Deb xo

  4. Deb, you have such a nice variety of butterflies and moths in your garden. I've been doing posts about butterflies on my I Come in the Little Things web journal and I know how hard it is to identify some of them--especially the Skippers we have here. I probably got some of them wrong because some are so close in color and markings.

    1. Thank you, Dear Cathy. Some are so similar, but not only that, have you seen how alike our Mullein moth caterpillar and your Swallowtail are? Different continents, one a moth one a butterfly.
      I must go and read I Come In The Little Things! I love your web journals which are so thoughtful. ~~~Deb xo

  5. Deb, your cottage butterfly garden is filled with such poetic words and photographs! It must be lovely to see them flutter about the leaves and blossoms in the late summer sunshine. The Common Blue is simply stunning! Can't wait to share them all with our family butterfly expert this evening! Hope you will feel better very soon, Deb! ♡

    1. Hello Dear Dawn ~~~ yes, the Common Blue was quite a treat to see. The up side of not being well enough to garden this year and letting things go wild is the variety of butterflies and other critters.
      I hope your butterfly expert won't be too harsh on my identification.
      Already starting to feel less fuzzy between the ears! ~~~Deb xo

  6. I don't get to see that many butterflies, maybe next year when the Buddleia flowers again,you take fantastic pictures, what sort of camera do you have?

    1. Thank you ~ I use a Panasonic FZ45 at the moment, a bridge camera that is four years old now but it does the job.
      I'm sure that next year, when your new garden is established, you will have many! Deb

  7. Deborah!!! BEAUTIFUL AWESOME post!! I LOVED every image!!! Thank you dear!!
    Warmly xx oo Linnie

    1. I'm sure you are too kind, Dearest Linnie. I did have a lot of fun taking the images when the weather is good ~~~Deb xo

  8. I don't care what their names are, they are all stunning! What a lovely post with the wonderful photos and the great poetry. Thanks!

    I sure hope you feel better soon. It is no fun to be ill.

    1. Dearest Friend! I know you don't, Darlene, and I wish you could be here to see them for yourself. Happy you enjoyed it, and I hope I feel better soon too, for the good garden days are fewer and farther in between now as Autumn takes hold with our omnipresent weather systems ~~~Deb xoo

  9. "The butterfly counts not months but moments and has time enough" Oh that we would learn from the butterfly. Your photos are stunning. This was beautiful and peaceful way to start my day.

    1. Thank you, I think that you have had a beautiful and peaceful start to your day is one of the kindest comments I have ever had. May your day continue in beauty and peace ~~~Deb

  10. Tortoiseshell butterflies! I remember them from when I was a kid, they used to be all around in summertime. Not so much anymore.

    1. Not as many around this year at all and this worries me. I remember chasing them with a net!

  11. You have gathered together some wonderful images. We don't seem to have many butterflies as usual this year except for the whites of course

    1. Thank you. These were taken over several weeks, and it is both disappointing and worrying to see so few around this year. I've hardly seen any Cabbage Whites, no Peacocks, but the garden is jumping with grasshoppers.

  12. I do hop over from time to time to read and look at your lovely posts ... here again is another lovely one. Your photo's and the mosaics are a joy to look at, my favourite has to be the Common Blue on Mint Flowers, and the mosaic of them.
    Wonderful poems too - all in all a happy read for my Saturday afternoon.

    Thank you.

    All the best Jan


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