Leslie wrote such wonderful, witty blogs for our website – I hope I can do her justice.
I have been taking part in the Big Butterfly Count which has been running from Friday 16th July to Sunday 8th August 2021.
All I needed to do was to spend fifteen minutes counting the maximum number of species I could see in the garden at a single time. I got to seven enjoying our buddleias outside our walled garden – including Peacock, Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Orange Tip, Large White and Gatekeeper.
I am fascinated by their beauty, delicacy and energy. The Butterfly Conservation Charity that runs the Big Butterfly Count says last year a record 145,000 counts were submitted but shockingly 2020 saw the lowest number of butterflies recorded since the event began twelve years ago.
If we all encourage butterflies into our gardens by growing plants to attract them such as buddleias, lavender, marjoram, sedums, hebes and verbena bonariensis – what a difference we would make. Observing these captivating creatures is seriously addictive. I love to wonder at how beautiful their wings are, and how graceful their flight.
As William Wordsworth wrote in his poem “To A Butterfly” (1801)
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.