Thursday 5 August 2010

Shy little butterfly.......

Sitting by the pond, watching Riley and Poppi clearing blanketweed, I noticed a tiny blue butterfly flitting amongst the wild flowers.
The holly blue is unique among British butterflies, as its caterpillars have different food plants, at different times of the year - holly buds in spring and ivy buds in autumn. I have host plants for her.

In the absence of holly or ivy the caterpillars will feed on the flowers of dogwood, spindle, gorse and bramble. I have spindle and bramble. I was, therefore, most surprised to see her depositing her egg on purple loosestrife buds.
Eventually she rested on a comfrey leaf............stayed a while.........and then took flight.
Butterfly days................


  1. She must be expanding her culinary tastes! Beautiful pictures Cheryl.

  2. Butterflies flutter the most beautiful of gardens,dear Cheryl...and my favourite blog to visit :)

    August blessings to you, dear Friend :)

  3. Hi Dan....tku, perhaps that is the reason......will visit your blog soon....

  4. Tku wildlife gardener....august blessings to you, I hope the sun is still shining for you.

    Will visit your blog soon....forgive me, life has been a little hectic......

  5. Don't life has been hectic during June and July... :)

    ps...I caught up with you two posts ago when I read all of your recent posts on this beautiful new blog... stunning shots of the fabulous Holly blue, by the way :)

  6. I imagine you had some moments of absolute calm whilst watching your little butterfly and taking the beautiful photos? Nature can be very therapeutic can't she?!


  7. Hi Jane, yes I did. With a camera in my hand and the little ones nearby the world seems a very different place.

    Whilst working, Riley said "Nanna, I love sitting by the pond, the water makes me feel happy."
    I knew what he meant, bless him........

  8. I love seeing the wildlife in your garden. These are exceptional photos of such a small visitor.

  9. Hi Lisa.....the holly blue is very tiny. They are hard to capture but this little one was pre-occupied.

  10. Hi Cheryl,

    Ah a Holly Blue, when you mentioned it in your last comment I was going through all the Blues in my mind, but you did not make me wait long to find out exactly which you had seen!

    Very nice, although any Blues in my eyes are wonderful.

    If you would be so kind, could you possible send me some Ragwort and Corn Marigold seeds – pretty please? :)

  11. Having more than one host plant seems like an advantage for these butterflies. It certainly is a pretty little thing.

  12. Hi Liz......I love the blues, they are just so pretty, and so very tiny. I captured a common blue laying her eggs today. I cannot believe it. All being well, blue butterflies should be a regular feature here.

    Of course I will send you will be a pleasure.

  13. Hi Marnie, the blue butterflies are extremely pretty and very hard to capture with a camera.
    They dash around the garden, as though they are making the most of the little time they have.

  14. Hey Cheryl,

    I may be a good idea to - if possible - go back to that loosestrife and remove the head so when any caterpillars hatch you can give them ivy/holly as required.
    Keep them in a small storage tub or similar until ready to be set free...
    It would be a shame if these caterpillars do hatch and then starve because their food is unsuitable??

    Thank you very much for the seeds, much appreciated :)

  15. Hi Liz....I had been thinking along those lines myself. Only problem being I am away for two weeks during September. The loosestrife is a huge plant. I am not 100 per cent sure where the egg would have been laid. I thought maybe I would wait until I see caterpillars on the loosestrife and then do what you suggest. Maybe I could leave them with the grand-children. You are probably horrified by that, but I do have quite remarkable grand-children.
    They are saving bumble bees at the moment. Around 100 bees have entered their house, and they are taking them back into the garden. I have never seen this before. The bees are actually walking around on the carpet. Neither Poppi or Riley are frightened of bees. Just as well!!

  16. Hi Cheryl..I love this butterfly..nice blue and the nice that you had the opportunity to have it in your garden...and the right plants for it to!!!
    Well she choose purple loosestrife makes for a very pretty blend with the blue for a photo!! ; }
    Your post yesterday had some great shots of very colorful butterflies to....I really like the Common Blue...but I like blue in nature especially flowers !!!
    Enjoy the grandchildren!!

  17. Your pic of the holly blue butterfly resting on the comfrey leaf looks magical - it's my favourite of them all.

    Eeks - just read your comment re the bees on the carpet! 100 of them? Hope they find their way outside.

  18. Hi Grammie, I think we all love blue in the garden. Whether it is a small butterfly or a beautiful flower, there is just something about that touch of blue......

  19. Hi Wendy....I love that image as you say it is quite magical.

    The children helped their Mum remove the bees. Poppi carried them out in her hands, one at a time. Bumbles are passive bees.........if it had been honey bees, that would have been a different matter.

  20. Hi Cheryl. A glorious selection of flutters visiting you recently but the Holly Blue is rather special...let's hope her progeny will grace your garden. FAB.

    BTW the seeds arrived safe and sound.

  21. Dear Cheryl,
    She is gorgeous!!!!
    As are your darling Grandchildren. Saving bees is so very wonderful. You have guided them well. Wonderful they are not afraid of bugs and are helpmates.... Bless them and your Holly Blue!
    Amazing photos. You and your camera have bonded!
    Thank you for the amazing work you do. Seeing your butterflies just brings tears to my eyes. I worry about the bugs....knowing there are good garden stewards like you helps me sleep at night. I garden for the bugs too!