|Peacock butterfly. Image from Butterfly Conservation|
Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals, Commas and others I don't recognise have all been fluttering aroung in large numbers this year. Today I saw my first Orange Tips and yesterday a Blue. As a vegetable gardener though I have to say the Cabbage Whites are a bit less welcome as I sense they are already eyeing up my cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower seedlings. Caterpillar control will be starting early this year!
Despite all these colourful butterflies fluttering I have still not seen a ladybird this year. Lily Beetles - yes, Carpenter, Honey and Bumble bees a plenty but no ladybirds. And I know other people have as I have seen pictures on their blogs but I haven't. Stamps foot!
So, no ladybird pictures and I'm afraid my camera skills are not up to snapping butterflies .... you will have to make do with this butterfly that I caught a couple of years ago.
In England they are very rare and restricted to East Anglia. Over here in France they are more common although we are at the Northern end of the range so do not see them every year. It is a Swallowtail butterfly. The caterpillars feed on plants of the carrot family including dill and fennel and are as fabulous looking as the adult. They even have small red "horns" they protrude in a seemingly menacing manner when threatened. The adults are on the wing in July and August so Summer guests may have the chance of seeing them.
Have you noticed greater numbers of butterflies this year and have you seen a ladybird? On second thoughts, don't tell me if you have seen the latter or I may well sulk!