A painted lady butterfly resting on the sun-warmed boulders of Trencrom hill.

Identified by pale orange wings adorned with black and white spots with an underside of mottled brown spots, this little beauty can be found all across the British Isles.

(click to enlarge to full size)

painted-lady-(1)

Few things say summer more eloquently than the fluttering of butterfly wings in the garden and countryside. Sadly I haven’t seen many this year other than up on the hill and only large white ones in the garden. The painted lady (Cynthia cardui) likes heathland and open meadows so I expect she is loving the heather now. A migrant (too cold here to stay over winter) the painted ladies are strong flyers capable of long distances and when summer comes to an end they will journey as far as tropical Africa.

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29 thoughts on “pretty ladies

  1. I love your butterfly. We don’t get many here, but they should start appearing soon. I once got very excited because I saw a Comma butterfly in the garden, but it has not been back. I even cultivate a patch of nettles in case they should decide to lay some eggs. It is usually the Red Admirals that we see. I can’t imagine a little butterfly flying so far as Africa.

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  2. I really don’t know one butterfly from another, except they are all a delight to see. You are so right about butterflies being a symbol of the lazy days of summer. Seeing one float by is guaranteed to make me smile.
    I was just commenting to someone the other day that it seems we have a lot more butterflies than usual this summer. Perhaps the exceptionally dry weather we’re having?

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      1. During late autumn/early winter, the ones that visit tend to land on the front lawn in the afternoon and ”sunbathe” , wings open to the west.
        I have a number of shots of the butterfly in this position.
        Haven’t seen one since the 9th July. (last photograph at any rate)

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  3. A pretty lady indeed 😀 I finally found red admirals today!!! I’m sure they’re late. It’s been a good year for meadowland species. I’ve sighted loads of meadow browns, gatekeepers, ringlets and skippers! It’s going to be interesting to see what the Big Butterfly Count results have to say.

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