Arnside and beyond

By gladders

Orange tip

A male orange tip settles on the flower of a Spanish bluebell in our lawn/meadow.  I was trying out Big Len as an alternative to the macro, I can stay further away with less risk of disturbing the butterfly.  If anything, the main challenge is resisting the urge to get closer and find that I have crept within the closest focussing distance.

The orange tips are one of the delights of the Spring. In this photo, the male is showing both his bright orange flashes on the top of the wing, and the subtle green camouflage of the underside that enables them to merge into a leafy background when the upper wing is tucked in.  Listening to Brett Westwood on Open Country which was broadcast on Radio 4 earlier in the morning made me think I need to try to cater more for this beautiful visitor. Can we find a place for some hedge garlic in the garden that might attract them in to lay their eggs? We have a few plants of the other food plant, lady's smock, but perhaps not enough to draw them in.

For anyone who can access BBC Sounds, I would recommend listening to the Brett Westwood broadcast, which was mainly from his small garden in the West Midlands. His observations and descriptions of familiar spring wildlife was entrancing, his description of the behaviour of bee flies was fascinating.

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