Sunday, August 4

Year of the peacock?

I have never seen as many peacock butterflies on the plot as I have this year. As a result of the ease of rooting cuttings, we have six buddleias on the plot. Five of them are in a line at the end of long beds. You can just see them in the background of the photo below.

This year they are covered in butterflies and bees. The largest number of butterflies are peacocks and we seem to have some that are a bit smaller than usual. I was going to record the numbers for the butterfly count but I had no chance as the hoardes fluttered around.









There were also a few small tortoiseshell earlier but these seem to have moved on.


There were one or two commas ...
... and the inevitable whites which flit around so quickly that it is difficult to capture a half decent photo. 
The gatekeepers seemed unimpressed with the buddleia preferring instead the less showy flowers of the lemon balm.
Elsewhere cinnabar moth caterpillars were feasting on the groundsel. I noticed them when doing a bit of weeding and so some groundsel has been left for them.
PS Apologies for overdoing the peacock butterfly photos but they are just too photogenic to resist!

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

39 comments:

  1. Was just saying yesterday to my partner phil that the bees and butterflies seem abundant this year. A good thing all round. Reminds me of the hot summers of yesteryear when I was a kid, with dragon flies a plenty. Things are looking up.

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    1. Our bees are mainly bumble bees with just one or two honey bees but usually there are lots and lots of small tortoiseshell butterflies too.

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  2. Beautiful butterflies! In my garden, butterflies live in a huge clump of stinging nettle, caterpillars feed on leaves I think. There are always a lot of various butterflies flying around the clump.

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    1. Quite a few types of butterflies lay their eggs on stinging nettles, Dewberry so it is good to leave a few in the garden.

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  3. Fabulous butterfly pics! Peacocks in particular are so beautiful. They haven't appeared much in Berkshire yet, but we're expecting them soon along with the cinnabars - there are so many caterpillars around!

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    1. I've noticed quite a few cinnabar caterpillars so I am weeding selectively, Belinda and looking forward to seeing more adults

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  4. Same here. We went suddenly from no butterflies to loads of butterflies. I have also been trying (without success) to get a good photo of a Small White and a Large White. There are plenty of them about, but they just won't sit still! No need to apologize for the Peacock photos - I can't get enough of them1

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    1. Those whites are just so uncooperative aren't they Mark. I think their mind was on other things as there were plenty chasing one another around. The one in the bottom tight of the collage was inviting another butterfly flying above to 'make friends'. Look carefully at itsabdomen!

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  5. Oh WOW!!! I can't get enough of these pics! The buddleia is such a butterfly and bee magnet isn't it, mine is completed coated too.xxxx

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    1. And I just couldn't stop taking photos, Snowbird

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  6. Fab-u-lous. They seem to have suddenly arrived everywhere - thank goodness. Lovely to see.

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    1. They really are welcome, Elaine. It was as if it was snowing butterflies

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  7. Great photos. There's definitely more around this year, bees too, of all sorts!

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    1. Thanks Debbie - we could do with a few less whites though!

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  8. What amazing photos. I too saw loads of peacocks on a huge buddleia at Slimbridge Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust last week, they were wonderful. I've learnt a thing or two about which butterfly and caterpillar is which from this post as well, so thank you Sue!

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    1. It's obviously the teacher in me CJ - can't stop teaching! Glad you enjoyed the photos

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  9. I've only seen one Peacock Butterfly this year Sue, in fact i haven't seen many Butterflies at all. I have had 3 Garden Tiger moths so far this year though and according to the internet they're supposed to be getting rarer and rarer - strangely this is the first year I've even seen one never mind 3.
    Buddleia do make fantastic shrubs though don't they, yours look amazing. I made the mistake of using them as cut flowers one year and it's not something I'll ever repeat. They may smell nice outside but the stench of them inside made me feel quite sick.
    I have a couple of Buddleia babies which I may have a go at taking cuttings from but I also grow the smaller Buddleia Buzz which is full of blooms just now.
    Thank you for such lovely Butterfly piccies Sue, I agree that the Peacock Butterfly certainly is a beautiful creature.

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    1. I thought that you were going to say all the buddleia stems taken into the house rooted in the water, Linda! I can understand why the scent would be too much inside though.

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  10. Stunning pics. The "underside" of butterflies is really fascinating, all that dust and browny hues.

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    1. They just look like dead leaves Lee. Great camouflage and better shock tactics when they flash those 'eyes' Interestingly moth camouflage is on the top of the wings as this is the part that shows when they are resting. (Sorry I'm at it again aren't I?

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    2. Don't apologise! I came here for the pics, I come back for the knowledge!

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  11. They are so pretty. I didn't notice any butterflies in my garden but I've also noticed that there is unbelievable amount of bees in my garden. Bees, bumblebees and ladybugs.There's so many of them that I have to be careful not to step on them while walking.

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    1. I haven't seen many ladybirds (ladybugs) yet this year, Leanan.

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  12. Glorious photos, Sue! I enjoyed seeing the repetition of the Buddleia plants as much as our wilder friends. You are clearly having a butterfly year like us. Our nettle patches are almost completely defoliated by caterpillars.

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    1. Nettles they can have, Crystal as long as they stay the whites stay off the brassicas. It's good to see that all the wet weather earlier hasn't affected butterfly numbers.

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  13. Oh my! You are so lucky. I don't know what I am doing wrong but I've hardly any butterflies this year, I've seen one Gatekeeper, and three or four white ones (but not sure exactly which sort, probably Cabbage White)I've also had only about 5 ladybird sightings too, so very worried about my garden, but pleased to see you have so much variety in yours.

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    1. Welcome Deborah. I could have watched them and photographed then for hours :) It was the buddleias drawing them.

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  14. Wow! Amazing photos! Adam and I were just saying that it's definitely the year of the butterfly. There's tons of them! It's so nice to be pottering in the garden and have them flying around :)

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  15. Really enjoyed those photos - thanks Sue. I need to grow more flowers I think because we are generally a little light on butterflies around here (cabbage whites aside of course).

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    1. If onl we were light on the cabbage whites, Liz

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  16. Lovely photos :-) And so great to see the butterflies back in our gardens, I didn't see one single last year and this year I have loads!

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    1. The good weather seems to have brought them out, Helene but still a lack of tortoiseshells

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  17. You've managed to take some lovely photos.

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  18. Hello again, Sue :-)

    I did spot this post title on my phone and meant to pop over when on PC next. Fantastic images of the peacock - these eyes are just mesmerising aren't they? Great to see so many butterflies on your plot. I've wondered if we will see the comma again this year.

    Interested to hear you've found taking buddleja cuttings quite easy - I'll have a go with my buzz series one. Wishing you a good weekend :-)

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  19. Good luck with your Buzz, Shirley. I wonder if that series are as easy as the standard buddleia - will be interesting to find out. I have to say some of my cuttings were 'stolen' from a plot neighbour's compost heap when he cut down a buddleia that I liked the look of - hence the variation in colour - they didn't all come from buddleais I already had.

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