baby donkey

Spring has arrived. Seeing blackbirds, thrushes, blue tits and woodpeckers in the garden. There are rabbits by the roadside and in the fields.
I’ve started seeing butterflies - white ones and red admirals spinning around in pairs. The birds sing a loud dawn chorus. We were tidying up the garden and found a toad burrowed under [...]

Tropical butterflies

Went to see the butterflies at the Natural History Museum in London. They have a tent beside the museum. It is fairly small. I was meeting someone there, so I sat and watched. It was great to see people show their delight when they spotted a butterfly, or get excited when a butterfly landed on [...]

There’s a butterfly in my kitchen

Just appeared, fluttering round the light one evening. Been putting flowers out for it. Still trying to work out what it is as it is quite yellow. Its been a nice distraction while waiting for my op.

Update on small tortoiseshell butterflies

The small tortoiseshell butterflies have emerged. They start off quite black, with their wings shut. Then as they dry, the underside of the wing goes lighter. Once they open their wings I am greeted by a wonderful display of colour – blue along the bottom edge, black and yellow stripes along the top, and the [...]

Small tortoiseshell butterflies

Following on from the painted lady butterflies, we also ordered some small tortoiseshell butterflies. They arrived in pupa form, in a small box wrapped in cotton wool. There were 10, and some were golden, about 1cm long.
These needed to be placed vertically. My husband made a frame to fit into the butterfly cage, and then [...]

Butterflies released

The butterflies were starting to flutter round the cage. It was a dull afternoon, but not raining so we released the butterflies into the garden. I chose a spot near some flowers, and then opened up the door. It took a few minutes for them to emerge. Some flew up high, and a couple stayed [...]

Butterflies emerge!

What an incredible sight! I came down this morning to find one of the butterflies was just emerging from its pupa. The wings started off a mottled brown colour. The butterfly was still for a while and shook its wings a tiny bit now and then. It unfurled its proposcis. As it got stronger it [...]

Caterpillars change into pupae

The caterpillers suspended themselves from the top of the pot. Gradually the bodies hardened and transformed into pupae, and the caterpiller skins were shed. The pupae sometimes shake about quite violently and then go still again.
We moved the pupae into a butterfly cage. I think it will take about a week for the butterflies to [...]

Update on caterpillars

The caterpillars have been making silk thread, and are now all hanging from the lid of the pot.
The selfheal in the garden seems to be attracting a lot of bees and a few butterflies.

selfheal

I’m growing some painted lady butterflies

So my fascination for butterflies has set off a new project, with some encouragement from my husband.
A few days ago the postman delivered my  5 butterfly caterpillars, as it were, - they are in a small pot, 4 inches high. They started off about half an inch long (1cm), black and very slender. The pot [...]