It has been so warm today that it seems to have triggered all of the hiberating Brimstone butterflies to emerge at once. We’ve seen a few over the last couple of weeks, but today we’ve been watching a fairly continuous flow of these bright yellow butterflies flutter passed the swing chair. I’ve been following them around with my camera, but the thing is that they very rarely settle. They appear to be on a mission (see below*) and very little in the garden has attracted them to pause, except (luckily for me) the primroses.
Honesty was a draw for them last year, but we need another week or two for those to be in flower.
Brimstones (Gonepteryx rhamni) are one of the longest-lived species of butterfly in the UK and can be seen throughout the year even though there is only one brood per year (usually emerging in July). *In early spring, the sulphur yellow males are particularly noticeable as they patrol along hedgerows in search of females (much paler in colour) awakening from hibernation.
Anyhow, it is great to see them around. The leaf shape of their wings is so elegant! They are such a glorious, spring-like colour and they feel like the first butterflies of the year, even if they technically aren’t.