Monday, 20 July 2015

Butterfly Count 2015

There seem to be fewer butterflies around... is this true ? or is it just in our garden ?

I saw this beautiful Peacock butterfly a couple of years ago, but haven't noticed any since then... 
Has anyone seen any of them this year ?

I just happened to come across an advert for the  Butterfly Count... for the next week or two, until August 9th... & spent a lovely quiet 15 mins watching for butterflies.

 Saw a few large white butterflies circling around one another and then fluttering away on the breeze, or gently floating into the lavender... a couple of very small brown ones, or so I thought...but they turned out to be bees, also enjoying the lavender !  

  I was really surprised how few butterflies I saw... I thought we had planted several butterfly friendly where are all the other butterflies ? 
...years ago we used to see Red Admirals,  and many others I couldnt name...but theres a very good identification page to download from  

A few years ago I visited a tropical butterfly house, and saw this amazing Blue Morpho which landed on a large banana leaf and basked in a pool of sunlight.

At first its wings were tightly closed & I was fascinated by the "eyes" & other patterns, quickly sketching away while it sat obligingly, almost as though it knew it was sitting for its portrait!

Can you imagine my surprise when it suddenly began to open its wings...just enough for me to glimpse this brilliant blue inside. What a challenge...could I possibly paint its portrait with this vibrant blue ? it took a long time to give the appearance of glimmer and shine, experimenting with various blue glazes...and, yes, this is one of those oil paintings that is best viewed from a distance... with, perhaps, a little time just to sit in silence....?