Before & After
One month ago I collected a part of them in the Vosges (see my blog Butterfly Walhalla part II), raised them in the Netherlands and released a big part of them last weekend in the Vosges on the place they were born.
Collected as caterpillar, returned as chrysalises to the Vosges and released as fresh born butterflies: 16 Camberwell Beautys.
Mission Camberwell Beauty completed!!!
Last weekend I worked hard in the garden for my new mission....creating a larval foodplant oasis for the Silver-washed Fritillary and/or High Brown Fritillary.
Butterfly Walhalla II
When I arrived at dusk on Friday evening, I noticed some orange flags above our road and it was obvious that there was no relation with the WC football.
The heavy rain and thunderstorms from some weeks ago were responsible for a fallen tree and power pole.....fortunately both were 'cleanded up' in the meantime.
When I passed this place on Saturday morning on my way to the wild meadow (see my blogs Le pouvoir des filles I and II) I noticed some black caterpillars walking on the sawed pole....when I came closer I noticed that this were Camberwell Beauty caterpillars and soon I noticed a lot of them on the brown withered leaves.
I returned to the house to get a box and started collecting caterpillars which I released in my back garden (in the Vosges) on their larval foodtree.
In the meantime the sun had risen above 'my' wild meadow when I started searching butterflies. Instead of 40 cm the grass was now at least 1,20 metre high and immediately I noticed a Heath Fritillary.
A lot of Meadow Browns were already active and the Marbled Whites started opening their wings. On a part with lower grass and a lot of flowers I found some Black-veined Whites. Although I photographed them a week earlier in the Eifel I was glad to have them in the Vosges.
Last Friday I returned to the Vosges together with four girlfriends for a high-tea-birthday-weekend. In ten days time nature in the Vosges was awakened and the forest floor was covered with white blooming wood anemones.
The weather conditions were excellent and on Saturday I saw the first Camberwell Beauty very soon after the sun started shining. I had a good helper and together we noticed at least four specimens. Photographing them was again a big challenge as they flew away immediately. On Sunday I had more luck when one butterfly started drinking from my house wall.
Next to the Camberwell Beauty we saw some Small Tortoiseshells, a lot of Brimstones, one Peacock Butterfly and one Holly Blue.
Harbingers of spring
Due to a lot of Easter traffic I arrived late in the Vosges and the last four hundred metres I collected 'frozen' frogs from the path. Once in the house it seemed that there was frost damage as again (see my first blog) water was flowing through the ceiling into the living room. I was too tired to worry about it and went to bed.
The next day started to find some water as I needed coffee....the lesson I learned is to buy some extra water bottles in case of frost damage.
In the early afternoon the problem was fixed and I noticed that the sun was shining. I took a stool and choose a 'I can see the path position' and within a few minutes I saw a big butterfly coming down and started screaming as I could not believe that it really was that species and because I was angry at myself that my camera was still in the house. When I returned with camera the butterfly flew away.
Twenty minutes later the butterfly returned, I guess that it was the same butterfly as he choose exact the same place.
I tried to approach the butterfly carefully but he noticed me too quickly and after one snapshot he was gone. Unfortunately the sun disappeared and with her the butterflies so I only have that one photo.
New chances to meet the Camberwell Beauty again in ten days.....fingers crossed that it will be a sunny weekend!
But, I have no reason to complain as I also saw a Large Tortoiseshell and dozens of Brimstones who were attracted by the large amount of wild daffodils.
Since August 2017 I'm the owner of Maison Bonheur, an old farmhouse in the Vosges. Because of its location in the forest/nature the possibilities for nature/peace/relaxing lovers are limitless.