If I let you into a secret, will you promise not to judge me?
I don't like blackberries.
Confession, they say, is good for the soul, and I do feel better now that I'm not masquerading as something I'm not - i.e. a blackberry lover. I don't object to you liking them though, if their rather bland flavour appeals to you, and you don't mind picking all those seeds and larvae out of your teeth. By all means, help yourself. In fact, knock yourself out - have my share too.
I do like the way that blackberries decorate the hedgerows at this time of year, providing food for numerous insects. And I also like the fact that on the day we were deserted by our recent blessed Indian summer, the light failed, the wind picked up, and macro photography became a hit-and-miss (or perhaps spray and pray) occupation, they provided me with a photo opportunity that wasn't flapping around wildly in the breeze. But picking and eating them...? No thanks.
My extra today is one of the subjects that was flapping around wildly in the breeze, but luckily both the Common Blue and I sat tight just long enough for there to be a brief lull, at which point I fired off a burst of shots, in the couple of seconds I had before he upped and left. When I first saw him, a couple of days ago, he looked pretty fresh, but by today the poor creature was quite worn and tattered, which is what hanging around an uncut meadow in a strong wind will do to you when you're as small as he is.
Last Sunday I saw a fresh female Common Blue nectaring on ivy at the other end of the village, but I haven't seen her since, and I fear that with the weather closing in the two of them may already have missed the chance to find each other and reproduce. Which is a rather sad, autumnal thought.