Lepidoptera and a summer snowstorm

Bright and sunny. Up to the moor!

In the lane just past Mount Skip, I spotted something I have wanted to see for years. It was unmistakeable: a humming-bird hawk-moth flitting back and forth next to the drystone wall. It really did look for all the world like a humming-bird. I fired off a few photos, but the thing was so fast, I just couldn't focus on it. Eventually, it landed on the wall (a typical behaviour, I learnt later), and I managed to get a close-up:

Hummin-bird hawk-moth
Hummin-bird hawk-moth.

It turned out to be a very good day for lepidoptera. There were butterflies all over the place, making the most of the blossoming heather and the bright sunshine:

Peacock butterfly
Peacock butterfly.
Red admiral butterfly
Red admiral butterfly.

White thistle and rosebay willow-herb seeds filled the air. A summer snowstorm. Strange, it had never occurred to me before that the thistles and willowherb that grow in unchecked abundance around here don't seem to grow at all on the moor. I find it hard to believe that the acid soil is to blame—the soil in my garden is very acidic, and they certainly have no difficulty growing there—so perhaps the heather and moorland grasses simply don't allow them living space.

A summer snowstorm
A summer snowstorm.

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