I haven't been able to get my happy butterfly out of my mind. So I made a return this morning with my camera, in the vain hope of spotting the Clouded White butterfly. Such a lovely walk. The air was full of the sounds of insects going about their business. An industrious sound. In fact so absorbed in my walk and all that was around me I quite forgot about the fleeting beauty I spied yesterday.
It's another lovely day In St Ives. A bit muggy maybe, but the sun is shining and vest tops and flip flops are de rigeur. The dogs followed me down the path towards the cliff tops and the sea. I like to think that I am the only person that traverses this route, but prints in the soft mud say otherwise.
I was struck by the hedgerow colours. They are turning. The pinks and whites have all but disappeared, and in their place are the reds and russets and brown of a season turning from one to the other. The Blackberries and Sloes are swelling and changing from hard green bullets to glistening fruits swollen with promise.
The Butterflies were out in force too. I love our British species - they are not too big. I think that if I encountered anything bigger, I would probably freak. Friends will tell you I'm not too good with flappy noises. Is it me or does there seem to be more Butterflies than usual?
I kept walking until I reached the cliff edge. I stood on the footpath between St Ives and Zennor, looking one way and then the other. The sea was calm. I inhaled deeply. I can never get enough of the smell of the sea. Me and the dogs climbed up a rocky outcrop and sat for a while looking out over the vast blue. I could have stayed there all day, and made a promise to myself that one day I would go with a flask and a book.
I climbed down and started to make my way home. I said hello to two French walkers who thought the dogs were foxes. And then I stopped. I put my hand up and said "Arrete!!" (I really did). There in front of us was the yellow butterfly. She was hovering over some brambles, flitting and fluttering around. I started gabbling to the walkers, while fumbling for the safety cap on the camera lens. As I lifted the camera to click, she flew away.
"It's the Clouded White!!" I exclaimed. "A rare migrant! I need to get a picture!" The French walkers and me started looking for her. "Voila!" cried the lady. She had appeared once more, but out of range of the camera. Hopeless. Oh well, I thought to myself, at least I saw it again. I said farewell to the walkers and made my way back towards the footpath.
And there she was. Drinking from a yellow flower.
I took so many snaps. She never opened her wings, and I got impatient. I rustled the grass hoping she would open them, but of course she flew away. I was happy enough.
And she isn't a Clouded White at all. She is a Brimstone.
I've never seen one of those either!!