Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Searching for Burnets

Yesterday morning I walked up to Hampstead Cemetery to see if I could find some six-spot burnets in the butterfly garden.

I'd seen them there in years past, but when I looked earlier this month I didn't see much of anything. I was concerned that something had happened to drive them away.

I guess it was just too early, though, because I saw several yesterday, flying among the thistles and the purple knapweed. Burnets are one of my favorite insects -- a day-flying moth with bright red spots on a black background, and a red underwing that makes it very colorful in flight.

Look at this one's little curled proboscis!

It turned out to be a good day for butterflies in general. I also saw...

... a small copper...

...and a meadow brown.

There were several types of hoverflies and bees feasting on all the flowers.

And then I came home, and Dave and I spotted this pair of small whites in flagrante on our rose bushes. We did not disturb them.

And then this peacock fluttered into the garden yesterday evening and spent lots of time on one of our buddleias, or butterfly bushes. It actually flew into the house at one point, through an open window, but I was able to shoo it outside again. It went right back to the buddleia, probably very relieved.

So Boris Johnson is going to be the UK's new prime minister. I probably should be upset about this, but honestly, I'm not. I don't agree with him politically, but his election has long seemed inevitable, and although he is somewhat Trumpian in his views I maintain that he is smarter and more politically savvy than Trump. I mostly just want to move ahead and get this godawful Brexit mess over with, in the least damaging way possible -- since at this point there doesn't seem to be any way out of it. Boris's solutions may be harmful, but only time will tell. We'll see where this takes us!


  1. Co-incidentally, I was also into butterflies and burnet moths yesterday. In fact I have just posted a picture of a burnet moth on my own blog... but it's not nearly as good as your pictures! Grrrr!

  2. That's quite a butterfly collection and the six spot burnet moth is spectacular.
    As for Boris and Brexit, time will tell. It's just dragged on for so long!
    I'd be better occupied looking at a couple of items on my political agenda here on the home front....

  3. lucky you to see all those insects! We are short on insects, apart from midges!!

  4. Oh, that tiny proboscis! What good shots you got of those insects. So pretty. They are all so beautiful in their industriousness.
    I don't even know what to say about Boris.
    Good luck, I guess.

  5. Your bugs are so attractive, your camera and your patience certainly makes them even more pretty. Wonderful shots. Bojo and Rump what a pair, humans are incredibly ignorant and it seems the most ignorant of the lot seeks power, always. We are all in for a rocky ride, So glad you have a huge chunk of nature to retreat into- within walking distance. So lucky. You will likely go there more frequently as the Brexit shenanigans take hold- gather your wits.

  6. I wish I knew more about butterflies.

  7. Wow! Those are gorgeous moths and butterflies. I love that six-spot burnet. What a beauty. About politics, I think the whole world is in trouble and spiraling down.

  8. I love all the nature you have shown us today!

  9. I read yesterday that a no-deal Brexit has the capacity to tank the world's economy, not just the UK. I have no idea if this is true or not, but it's a bad thought. Beautiful butterflies and moths. Moths are under-rated. The county has planted significant swaths of clover for the bees, so far we are not seeing any. It's eerie.

  10. Burnets, butterflies, and Boris. A B-yootiful (or B-itchin') day, I guess.

  11. butterflies have been few and far between around here this year.

  12. Those are beautiful butterflies. Great shots! I've seen a few "ordinary" butterflies here but they are as scarce as bees are. Moths, on the other hand . . . every evening when it gets dark and our lights go on, I usher at least a few back out the door (they are getting in around the air conditioner and the edges of the screens, I think) but I can't save the ones the cats find and eat with satisfied crunching - ugh . . .