We took a walk out around home this afternoon and spotted this very tattered painted lady butterfly feeding on the hogweed flowers. It had lost chunks from its wings and was far from a pristine specimen but this prompted a full consideration of just what it’s been through.
These fragile little butterflies have all made the migration across from the continent – not only that but having made landfall, they then continue to spread out across the country.
The saddest thing of all is that these butterflies cannot overwinter in the UK in any of their life stages, so this long migration is ultimately futile as they will not have a chance to breed here.
It is humbling to think this little insect, and every painted lady you see, had undergone such an amazing journey to grace the hogweed beside us.