Musings & Marsh Fritillaries

Into February, another step closer to spring (hurrah!).  We had a little drop of the white stuff mid-week, it had all gone the next day, just enough to make a mess.  Some parts of our country had it bad, closing roads and airports, but stuck out in the North Sea this time it missed us.  Must admit I’ve not been out with the camera since the new year, the cold does not inspire me and it’s been mostly wet and grey.  Today it’s glorious sunshine (slightly frosty) so when I’ve finished here I’m out into the garden.  There are two weeping willows that need pollarding and I can’t put the job off much longer!

For this post I’m cheating a bit and re-visiting a subject that I aired way back when I first started blogging…… Marsh Fritillary the stained glass window of the butterfly world.

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Stunning Marsh Fritillary

Back in May 2017 I travelled up to Chambers farm wood near Wragby in Lincolnshire.  In an area called Little Scrubs Meadow a colony of Marsh Fritillaries had been introduced many years earlier.  Numbers were never very high, however on my visit there had been a record emergence and I saw well over a hundred, it was an amazing sight.  One day I shall have to return.

Beautiful underwing pattern

Marsh Fritillary (Eurodryas aurinia) a few facts.  This is a declining species that is mainly confined to the south west of the UK and Ireland.  They prefer slightly boggy ground (hence the name, duh) which must have a plentiful growth of devil’s-bit scabious, the food plant of the caterpillar.  These are the smallest of our Frits only up to 2″ (50mm) wingspan (larger females).  They are also very short lived on average four days.  The beautiful colouration (scales) is soon lost which led to them once being called the Greasy Fritillary.  When fresh they remind me of stained glass!  For a bit more

Now where are my loppers and saw.


23 thoughts on “Musings & Marsh Fritillaries

  1. Butterflies in January is always welcome. That storm hit us and we also experienced some snow and then it was gone. Today was perfect here, clear blue sky, sun and warm enough to sit in our garden and get some well needed vitamin D.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Very nice – had no idea their lifespan would be so short. Learning something new every day and every visit to your blog – oh, I also had to look up what pollarding means – now a bit smarter on two fronts! Thanks for sharing, being late to your work I missed a lot of your early stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always get a lift from seeing butterflies, something I have carried through with me from my early childhood, and I feel lucky I have not lost that sense of magic and excitement whenever I see them, even when captured so beautifully like you have done so here Brian. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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