The butterfly for May, the Orange Tip (credit, Wikipedia)
With the arrival of the warm weather, many readers will doubtless be taking walks round the Pond.
Whilst doing this, it’s interesting to try to identify any butterflies and wildflowers seen along the way. Fortunately, members of Fleet Pond Society (FPS) have written a fascinating series of articles on these topics that you might find interesting and helpful.
Peter Martin, President of FPS, has written quite a few butterfly posts that have proven to be very popular. Here are two examples:
“Although over 30 different species of butterfly have been recorded at Fleet Pond, some may not be easily seen as they tend to stay in the areas in which they bred.
Westover Road – Speckled Wood: Where the path starts at the end of Westover Road towards Wood Lane there are patches of bramble which, when in flower, provide a good nectar source for the Speckled Wood. This is a butterfly that likes areas dappled with sun and shade and it is most noticeable when settled on bramble with its wings wide open. As it has several generations, it can be seen from March until September.”
Extract (Butterfly Of The Month: May – The Orange Tip; see picture at top):
“Although a few may have been seen during April, May is the month when there are often lots of Orange Tips flying around Fleet Pond. The footpath from Avondale Road alongside the Brookly Stream is often a good place to see them (see map on About page above). Like a large number of insects and animals, nature seems to make the male of the species more colourful and this is particularly true of the Orange Tip.”
In addition, Michelle Salter has written a wonderfully illustrated series of articles on some of the wildflowers that can be seen around the Pond at different times of the year, see:
Here’s an extract (from the post May Wildflower Watch):
Bogbean at Hemelite Bay
“The pretty, white flowers of Bogbean have been appearing along the edges of the reedbeds at Hemelite Bay. Bogbean is a creeping aquatic perennial that grows along the sides of lakes, ponds or slow-flowing rivers. Often forming large colonies, Bogbean plants help to protect the greenery of the reedbeds against damage from Canada Geese.
The flower buds of Bogbean are rose-pink and open up into feathery white stars as the petals are fringed with white threads. The plant has distinctive three-lobed shiny leaves raised on long stalks to avoid shade. The leaves of Bogbean have been used to flavour beer, giving the plant the alternative name of ‘bog hop’.”
The wildflower photographs are courtesy of Michelle Salter.