Friday, 13 April 2018

Spring Butterfly

The first butterfly of the year one sees is supposed to tell what type of summer is in store for us all.  A yellow butterfly will forecast a long hot summer but alas it seems as though it might not be what we will experience as my first sighting was of this Small Tortoiseshell taking sustenance from the catkin nectar of a Goat Willow.  It is a pretty sight and deserves its Latin name of Aglais urticae (urticae meaning 'nettle' as the stinging nettles is where it will usually be seen) but Aglais, meaning splendor, was one of the Three Graces, admired for her beauty and is the personification of grace and beauty.  I can just imagine our Small Tortoiseshell flitting around this Spring garden 
By Sandro Botticelli -, Public Domain, Link

which shows the Three Graces on the left as imagined by Sandro Botticelli in his painting 'Primavera' or Spring with Flora the goddess of flowers in the floral dress sowing her magic.