THERE’S NOTHING like a comma, is there? But the Comma butterfly is a beautiful butterfly and over the last two days I’ve seen a number of species I haven’t spotted for years.
Yesterday I saw a Brimstone, a beautiful Red Admiral, a Small Tortoiseshell, an Orange Tip, Fritillaries of different species I didn’t recognise and only one Large Cabbage White. They are common or garden.
And butterflies, when I was a kid, weren’t isolated. True it is that you don’t see huge flocks of Red Admirals, which I did when I was a kid in Aberdeen. But there were enough of them to make me realise that if you don’t keep a bit of wild around, you end up with sterility.
You’re never far from the countryside in Oxford. Yesterday I walked up to a pub called The Perch in Binsey Lane. There’s plenty of streams on the way, and I spotted a Perch or three on the way. It’s years since I’ve seen a Skylark, I long to lie in grass again and watch and listen to these beautiful creatures as they ascend into their vertical niche, high high up, and drop, silently, to the grasslands again. ♦
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Tagged Aberdeen, brimstone, butterflies, Comma, dodo, fritillary, Oxford, Perch, Red Admiral, The Perch, tortoiseshell
LOYAL READER OF THIS BOG (sic) will remember how much, when I was in Bangalore, I loved the floating flowers called butterflies – they are hard pressed in that city now what with all the demolition going on. And that.
London – described in a Channel Four Despatches documentary a couple of weeks ago as the most polluted city in Western and Eastern Europe – used to have loads of butterflies too. When I moved there in 1973, there were Commas, Tortoise Shells, Red Admirals, Peacocks, and fritillaries of many a variety.
If you see the occasional Cabbage White these days you will be a fortunate man. But in Oxford, the butterflies still seem to be thriving. The weather has been very nice – I’ve seen Orange Tips, Peacocks, Tortoise Shells, and many of the species called Brimstone. I guess it’s because Oxford is full of green spaces, spaces which are occupied by nettles and the like, weeds to you and me.
While London is full of Borises and Johnsons and people prefer to build rather than plant. λ
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Tagged Bangalore, butterflies, Channel Four, Comma, Despatches, Europe, fritillaries, London, Orange Tip, Peacocks, Red Admiral