A week ago, in a short spell of sunshine, I paused at the kitchen sink when I saw an orange tip butterfly wheel past the window and alight on a clump of forget-me-nots in the border outside.
He (for it is the male who has such vivid colouring) flitted from flower to flower, from the forget-me-nots to the Omphalodes, and then down the border to the alpine cranesbill (Geranium cinereum Subcaulescens) with its vivid magenta flowers. Here he spent some time feasting, as I wondered whether I would have time to run for my camera. After deliberating for some minutes, I could still glimpse a dab of vivid orange down the garden, so I took my chances and was pleasantly surprised to find him still there when I tiptoed out, camera in hand. He was remarkably obliging, posing for dozens of pictures, not even startling when the phone in my pocket began to ring shrilly a few feet away – or when I answered it.
What a shock of contrast between his wings and the magenta petals!
It’s the first time I’ve seen an orange tip in our garden, but hopefully not the last.