When wandering about the Estate I so often come across flowers that I know are hidden away and no resident will ever see them and then a quote from Thomas Gray’s “Elegy in a country churchyard” comes to mind:
“Full many a flower is born to blush unseen
And waste its sweetness on the desert air”
Nevertheless, those flowers will still be there tomorrow and anyone who is interested enough can go and see them. Not so with those exquisite jewels, the butterflies, that flit around from tree to tree, and from flower to flower. They are there one moment and gone the next. They are always on the move, unlike a flower or even a bird that will at least sit still while you can admire it. Even when sitting on a flower the wings are opening and closing, or it is so small that details are almost impossible to see.
One day, just one moment of one day, an exquisite Mother of Pearl butterfly (first picture) sat on my lawn and the family were able to gather around and wonder at its beauty. No remarkable colours on its wings, but beautifully scrolled lines and spots perfectly balanced on the extended pearly-white wings of this large butterfly.
So many of the butterflies are either too rapid of movement or too small to observe clearly and so on the following pages the jewels of the Estate are illustrated for your enjoyment. There is no scientific detail, but there is a list of the plants on which their larvae feed.
Photos are from Google Images