Saturday 8 July 2017

All the better for butterflies!

Hello! *as the tumbleweed rolls across my toes*….I know, it's nearly a year since I last wrote. The thing is, I had a cunning plan. You know the kind, where you decide to up sticks after 20 years living in the same area and almost 18 years in the same house. It really did seem like a good idea at the time. I was blissfully ignorant of the crippling stress, chronic sleep deprivation and sense of total bewilderment that accompanies a process like that. Still, I am alive, just, and I’ve survived more than 6 weeks in my new pad in leafy Warwickshire.

Moving 75 miles away from cherished wild spaces and a landscape which has woven itself into my very soul is a big adjustment. Nestled within me are all those hundreds of hours of quiet wandering, wondering; the joys, frustrations; the patience and the pleasure of discovering new species; of accompanying them through the seasons and finding that their lives have become intimately connected to my own. As the years went by, the rhythm of relationship forged deeper and more lasting grooves, and the visceral familiarity of old friends blossomed. Each visit brought profound comfort and relief.

Thankfully, Warwickshire does have wildlife! In the face of hot tears, and anxiety as persistent and rampant as Japanese knotweed, the medicine of birds and butterflies and their living landscape has begun to trickle into my life here.

Common Spotted Orchid back there & Dark Green Fritillary on Hawkbit sp (I think!?!), Harbury Spoilbank

Reed Warbler on the River Avon

The Bramble Wars of Silver-washed Fritillary near Stratford-Upon-Avon

Last Sunday, I added two new species to my butterfly life-list. I cannot tell you how chuffed I was. I’ve spent many hours standing under Oaks on Box Moor Trust land, cricked neck, staring up in hope. I never did find a Purple Hairstreak. An hour spent at Goldicote Cutting, and I’d seen my first Purple Hairstreak alongside the other new species, White-letter Hairstreaks which included an egg laying female! The photos are atrocious but who cares.

Purple Hairstreak
White-letter Hairstreak

Hopefully, it won't be another 11 months before I write again....!

P.S. Garden delights so far include nesting Blackbirds, bouncy Frogs and a big bumbling Hedgehog


  1. Lovely write up. You really are a superb wordsmith.

    1. Thank you Phill. Next time you're down on the River Bulbourne, say a hello from me!

  2. Great to see you back again Lucy. Lovely write up with some nice photos as well.

  3. Beautifully written. I'm glad your first few dates with the Warwickshire wildlife have shown you that there is hope here too. From ARF


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