Today, while waiting for Ian to finish some stuff he was doing in his boat, I noticed a butterfly caught behind the glass of the cabin, fluttering fiercely was one of our most beautiful butterflies, the Peacock. It caught my attention. Gosh it was beautiful to get such a close up of this wonderful creature, I watched it for a long while but became worried that it could damage it’s wings even further than it had already done. After some time it settled down, I was able to gently pick it up and decided to free it into the lush fields beyond the boat yard. But how to get down the ladder with a butterfly in your hand? I decided to put it on my jumper and to my amazement it stayed there, even climbing a bit higher to just under my chin. I climbed down carefully, and it then flew off and onto some gravel which is where I made some photos with my phone (good old phone!) It then flew off further afield, I hope happy to be discovering the wider world.
These butterflies hibernate during the autumn/winter months, usually in woods, sheds or hollow trees. You often see these Peacock butterflies on the Buddleia shrub, I once counted many, over twenty on our bush. Their larvae are black and often found on Nettles. I am guessing that the specimen found on the boat was just out of hibernation, and I wonder if it will last another summer.
I got some of my information about the Peacock from the book ‘Discovering Irish Butterflies and their habitats’ by J.M.Harding.