Arnside and beyond

By gladders

Emergence

I was watching the dancing flight of the ringlet butterflies in the garden in the morning sunshine, when I noticed this one which was attracting the attention of the flying males.  This is a female, newly emerged from her chrysalis, having climbed up a grass stem and now pumping up her wings ready to take flight.  She couldn't fly, but she was able to resist the attentions of the eager males.

This was a new discovery for me in the garden. Last summer there were ringlets for several weeks flying over the long lawn grass, but I didn't dare to hope that they would actually mate and lay their eggs in the garden.  But clearly they did, and this is the next generation - our very own tiny colony of butterflies in a smallish patch of overgrown lawn.  The caterpillars climb up the grass stems at night to feed, they overwinter in the leaf litter and then in the Spring go through their metamorphosis via the chrysalis to the adult butterfly.  The males hatch before the females, and then dance over the grassland waiting for the females to emerge.

Alas, I couldn't wait to watch her take her first flight, I had to help Mrs G prepare for an important appointment, but I will now look for the eggs and caterpillars.

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