Wildlife Wednesday: Butterfly bounty

A local walk and a sunny day and the hedgerows were full of Hedera helix (Ivy) in full flower. They are visited by late-season butterflies, hover flies, other types of flies, wasps, bumble bees, and the ivy bee (a bee that specialises on ivy).

a comma butterfly feeding on ivy flowers alongside a marmalade hoverfly, a Heineken fly, a honey bee and out of view a wasp or two as well as other flies
Comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album) declining to close its wing and reveal the white C mark on the underwings from which it gets it name
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) – my favourite of our UK butterflies enjoying Ivy nectar which is high quality, with a lot of sugar (49 per cent).
Ivy flowers provide both pollen and nectar and only bloom on mature ivy, which has oval leaves and not the well-known hand-shaped leaves of immature ivy.

Seeing these butterflies feeding and the camera lens almost catching the straw-like proboscis detail, I am reminded of the Spanish film – La lengua de las mariposas (Butterfly tongues). Highly recommended!

For Entomologists:
Butterfly Conservation: Comma; Red Admiral;
They are not all the same – see On the tip of the butterfly’s tongue
For Film Buffs
Butterfly tongues
For Ivyphobes
Does Ivy kill trees?

A weighty wait

Stock still stone slabs
a petrified conclave, amassing moss
and weeds that find the barely-there in-betweens
I imagine them once jostling for attention
imperceptible to other than the sculptor
just to be the chosen one, rubbed
dubbed, clubbed until lithic ensoulment
cuts out tunnels, grasps a speck of light
shape-shifting poetry as form

Stock still stone slabs
remain in vain, for the sculptor
is long gone – consumed – her passion spent
and all their future possibilities, becomings
will only feel the unforgiving hands of time
the four distorting winds of change
sunlight on whitening faces
weathered into one weighty wait

Written for Sarah’s Poetics prompt: Waiting for a poem

the Poplars

"These memories were left here with the trees"  ~ Jo Harjo 

They say we should never go back. The urge to recapture is something of a fool’s quest, for nothing remains just as it always was. Even the bible warns against the backward glance as full of salty tears, enough to fill a pillar. But there is where fragments of you are left, your footsteps, our fractions of time. Crumbs of connection to feed upon.

And so I took the train again and the riverside path to the plantation. Beyond the gate, geometric alleys of poplar and a fully foliated forest. Long gone the spindly saplings we had lain beneath, watching seeds soar through clear skies, in slow, frothy swarms. These memories were left here with the trees. Now there’s a clear-cut timeline in their fattened trunks and the quivering leaves sound a soft lament for my witnessing alone.

Merrill asks us to write, in not more than 144 words, some prose to include the given line of poetry from Jo Harjo, for Monday’s Prosery: Memories with the Trees