Thursday, 12 July 2012

The butterfly defect

When did you last see a butterfly in your garden, indeed anywhere?

I think I saw one in Greece, but I've certainly not had any in my garden ever. In my hazy warm childhood memories you couldn't move for a suicidal Cabbage White or sun-drugged Red Admiral, hurtling towards you in that predictably unpredictable way only to duck and weave out of danger at the last second and head merrily on as if nothing was about to happen. 

What's going on?! Well, I've done some investigating and national treasure Sir David Attenborough, president of Butterfly Conservation has issued a call to gardeners arms. It seems our current nemesis RAIN is at the heart of the decline. It happened in teh deluges of 2007, with the winged population plummeting faster than you can say 'burnt moth'.

You can read more at the Butterfly Conservation website, which seems to have a photo of pretty much every butterfly out there. The photos reminded me just how striking they can be. I'm easily seduced by the absorbing colours on the wings, but of course it's all designed to distract you from...the face (sorry butterfly fans, that was very mean of me, I'm just jealous not to be called, or look like an Adonis Blue!). 

But my real reason for writing about them is this:

A photo of a caterpillar that I recovered from an old digital camera yesterday. I've not seen any caterpillars this year either and it got me wondering why. Most likely they realised there ain't no goodies to be had in my garden this year!

Even these little creatures have a beauty of their own, I'm sure you agree. So this little muncher is going straight into the rogues gallery! But before you go snapping your own ones, take note of this little link:

10 beautiful but dangerously poisonous caterpillars

If you have any photos of pests you'd like to submit for the gallery I'd love to hear from you? I haven't had a new rogue for a while so do get in touch if you have

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The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.