The butterflies in August are still present in good numbers in old pastures, woodland edges and especially along the railway line where access tracks are carefully maintained and the vegetation cleared annually.
Provencal short-tailed blue
Brown argus on chicory
Brimstone on purple loosestrife
White admiral on adjacent oak
Large skipper on viper’s bugloss
Mating pair of Provencal short-tailed blue and an interloping male
Provencal short-tailed blue male
Small heath on wild carrot
Mallow skipper on mallow
Berger’s clouded yellow
Heath fritillary prefers the knapweed
Near a fishing lake and nestling between a poplar plantation and lines of tall oak trees, a small field of plantains, docks, knapweed and common fleabane, is bisected by a wet ditch full of purple loosestrife, hemp agrimony, hairy willowherb and water mint. This colourful assemblage pulls in a wide range of butterflies to nectar and a few more than last August.
The small and sooty coppers sit on the mint whereas the large coppers nectar solely on the fleabane. This last species, in French the le cuivré des marais or grand cuivré, is restricted to damp, unimproved grasslands most of which have been drained and tidied up, as a consequence it is a rare and notable species in France and an important record for la commune de Bellon.
Large copper on common fleabane
Large copper – moves to rest on grass when the sun goes in
Mazarine blue on purple loosestrife 4
A sting in the tale: a hornet guarding its nest in a decaying tree