• Scott Cobb

Flutters in the sun

The other day after staring at the computer for several hours, I decided to go out with the camera for an hour or so.

With the heat of the day rising (around 32 c) I decided to stay local and try for some Macro work. I'm very lucky to live near several woodlands and headed to one near Darley Bridge, being managed by a forestry firm they had a "big cut" end of last year so I've not been down for some time. As I headed down and quietly cursed the heat, I mean this is the UK after all, I reached the site in question and found a mass of ragwort. This yellow flower is well known to keepers of livestock due to its toxic nature but because of this Cinnabar Moths love them, well the caterpillars do.

Every plant must have had ten or more caterpillars on them! Great photo opportunity and I rattled off several images putting a focus on multiple caterpillars in frame. Although I didn't manage any images I also saw Red Admiral, Green Veined Whites, Common Ringlet and Gatekeeper butterflies but they were so warmed up, I just couldn't get a decent image! Was brilliant to see however.

Cinnabar moth caterpillars showing those bold colours of warning

It's interesting to note that the colours and markings become bolder, the more they feed.

Following on from this encounter I headed into the woods proper and thanked Mother Nature for the shade! A lovely and cool walk by the stream took me to the upper path, a place I know is good for flutters. I wasn't disappointed and saw Comma, Gate Keeper, Meadow Browns, Ringlets and several whites but once again they were so active I couldn't manage a good image. I did get some great blurred shots though ha ha!!

But things changed a little later on when I came to a gravel area, here I spotted Commas and later a Skipper Butterfly. This time, although very active, they stayed near the ground. So I laid down in a promising area and simply waited. After a few minutes I was able to grab a shot of the Comma, such a beautiful butterfly. but it would be a much longer wait for the Skipper. As it eventually came closer I saw that it was a large Skipper (Although being a skipper still very small) and looked in amazing shape too. It stayed near the ground but had a very haphazard flight that was near impossible to read but as it slowly got closer I was able to take some captures. Finally when I was just about to call it quits (laying for an hour on gravel in this heat was killing me) he landed right by my feet! Finally I was able to take a nice portrait of this butterfly, a species I have only seen twice before.

I thanked the little guy before I got up and picked out pieces of stone from my skin (shorts on gravel? what was I thinking!) and began to head home to cool down.

The beautiful Comma Butterfly in bright sunshine

The Large Skipper - Finally got a nice image of one!

All in all despite the lost opportunities of more Butterfly species I had a fantastic walk and came home with some great images including the Skipper!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Scott Cobb