31 October 2013

Halloween Butterflies

Untidy Spider Web

It being Halloween I was going to write a post about the veil slipping between the two worlds, why our ancestors felt the dead came back to haunt us in Autumn, and make other profound observations on the meaning of life.

Instead I'm going to talk about a more cheery topic: butterflies.

As I sat in the garden this morning composing sentences around the funerary rights of Neolithic ancestors (a fascinating topic perhaps left for another post) three large butterflies swooped around the last remaining buddleia flowers.

Were they the spirits of the dead?

red admiral butterfly

Probably not.

These large hairy butterflies are Red Admirals, which are one of the few species still flying in October.

Did you know they aren't native butterflies? Gasp! Don't tell UKIP.

They come over from Europe in spring, lay their eggs, hang around for a bit, then start flying back in late summer. Which means there are increased numbers of them down south this time of year.

Unfortunately, some try to hibernate here, but it is too cold and they invariably perish.

These three better get a shift on then. France is a long way down.