The world seems to be awash with butterflies at the moment! Holly Blue and Speckled Wood can be seen in abundance, with lots of Large Whites mooching about the place doing their 'swoop' where they float down on the wing giving it their best Buzzard impression. During the recent visit by Matthew Oates to Hidcote, he told me to check plants such as Honesty (Lunaria annua) and Jack-by-the-hedge (Alliaria petiolata) for Orange-tip caterpillar eggs, which apparently I would find on the newly forming seed pods of these plants. This seemed far too easy but nevertheless I kept checking and (happy days!) we have loads of them! The egg is actually tiny but being orange in colour, stands out quite clearly against the green stem. I'll be keeping an eye on what happens next, and ensuring these food plants aren't accidentally weeded out! Fingers-crossed all these eggs mean plenty more Orange-tip butterflies next year.
|Holly Blue butterfly|
|Orange-tip egg (click to enlarge)|