The Red Admiral butterfly used to be an incredibly common sight for me as a child (not that long ago).
This was my first and possibly my last of this year. What has changed?
According to the U.K. Butterfly monitoring scheme it is the weather that is largely to blame. Wet summers play havoc with the life cycle of butterflies and limits their ability to feed due to their inability to fly.
However, I was heartened to discover that populations of the Red Admiral are on the rise despite these difficult conditions. My personal inability to see these gorgeous creatures at all this year could result from a number of things but wet summers do seem to be a likely culprit. Red Admiral's are migratory butterflies and variable weather conditions again can affect their flight paths.
One thing I did not know about the Red Admiral was its latin name, and to be honest it did tickle me somewhat. Vanessa atlanta! How fantastic is that? So, the next time you see this beautiful lady say 'Hi' to Vanessa and think about the struggle it may have had with the weather and it's migration. A beautiful but tough little creature indeed!
How has your experience of butterflies been in comparison to mine this year? I would love to hear your stories.
Also, please remember entries for my competition to win a pair of professional Felco sceateurs need to be in by 1st October 2009. You can enter by leaving a comment here.