Butterflies are one of the simple beauties of nature, adding an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colour and movement to our countryside and gardens.
Most people have heard of – and will probably have seen – the Cabbage White, Red Admiral and Peacock, but there are numerous other species whose sighting will undoubtedly evoke a frisson of fascination and excitement.
Oberthur’s Grizzled Skipper is most likely to be observed on wild strawberries in central and southern Europe, but closer to home, you could well see the Large Dancing Copper at the Notting Hill Carnival, the Military Fritillary in the environs of Sandhurst and the Surly Gatekeeper at many large country estates. (Sadly, the Lesser Spotted White Hairstreak was last seen nesting in the hair of former sports presenter, Dickie Davies.)
Despite their delicate appearance, butterflies possess enormous stamina and resilience, and in their hibernating state, may be used as shelf supports, sturdy bookends or saw benches for precision engineering.
The patron saint of butterflies is Wendy Craig.