Bright Sunshine and Butterflies

A fine day spent with insects and incandescent light in the evening.

It's an early spring morning and the dew is still on the grass, beginning to dry in the beams of sunlight peaking over the horizon. With the air warming and the foliage drying something begins to stir, My favourite and in my opinion the most beautiful butterfly in England, The orange tip.

The orange tip or Anthocharis cardamines as is its latin name is a true harbinger of spring, one of the earliest butterflies to emerge throughout the year taking flight between the months of April and July. The male butterfly like the one pictured sunning itself below, has orange wing tips on the topside, where as the female has a more simple black. This often leads to it being mistaken for a small white or even a green-veined white.

The males are often easier to spot, not only because of their orange wings but their patrolling nature, searching for any newly emerged females. In fact they are often drawn to anything white, it's possible the perch in the above photo had something to do with the white daisy head.

The underside is mottled with tiny black and yellow scales creating the beautiful green veined pattern and the butterfly has characteristically large green eyes. The adults nectar on bluebells, bramble, and like this male, various strains of mustard.

The morning and most of the afternoon was spent following the insects up and down hedgerows on a walk along the Polden hills, returning as the sun was dropping in the sky. The sun later in the evening cast a marvellous glow around anything that tried to block it. The field close my home turned golden and before it disappeared beyond the oaks at one end, I snapped this picture of a dandelion.

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