Thursday, 18 February 2016

Too hot sometimes

Meadow Argus Junonia villida
When I came home this morning there was a butterfly sun-basking on the wall next to the front door, which faces east. It had clearly found the wall a perfect place to catch the morning sun for its daily warm-up. However, by the time I returned it was sitting with its wings closed to avoid the ever warmer sunshine.

The shadow cast by the butterfly was so clear
Then, as I walked past the butterfly I noticed how it seemed to be in a rather awkward pose. It was aligned askew with the wall.

A minimal shadow
But as ever, things make sense in nature. The butterfly had aligned itself along the direction of the sunshine, and angle, so that it cast the smallest possible shadow.

It was holding itself perfectly, all in line with the sunshine by leaning and twisting its body
I took a look from its front, and I was impressed by how it held itself stationery, although I expect that it had moved ever so slightly to re-align as the sun rose and arced across the sky.

Very well adapted - the butterfly was even tilting its body to minimise exposure to the sunshine
As for the species, a Meadow Argus, I usually only see them in the nearby forest glades, often feeding on ground cover weeds, and they are usually much to flighty to photograph. I have seen them in the garden over the past few weeks, but this is the first one I've managed to grab a picture of.  This is a freshly emerged example, note its clean complete and un-frayed edges. My butterfly guru, Suzi Bond, tells me there has been a noticeable emergence in recent weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment