For almost one month I'm in the Vosges and since the day of arrival I see emperors every day. The first day, I was working on my laptop and had a teams meeting, two Purple Emperors landed on the windowsill. Every evening I see at least two Lesser Purple Emperors in the crown of the big tree next to the pond/house enjoining the sun and chasing after each other. A few weeks ago a fox had pooped on the path near my house and the emperors came down:
So I asked a friend, who lives nearby, to bring me some fresh dog poop. Dog poop attracts a lot of butterflies for about two days. Every two/three days I asked for more dog poop. As it was very warm I kept the poop wet and a lot of butterflies came to drink. As the Lesser Purple Emperors are very big butterflies too, I often had to look twice which emperor was landed on the poop.
The Lesser Purple Emperor is more common in 'my' valley than the Purple Emperor but I succeeded to took some photo's of their hindwing/eye spots:
All the butterflies which came down were male butterflies; recognizable by the blue sheen on the wings and they all had signs of 'scratches' from their habitat defending behavior high in the trees.
After four dry years/summers I'm glad that both Emperor species are still in 'my' valley! During my next visit I will plant one or two common aspens, not only for the Mars Changeants but to attract the very rare Poplar Admiral....although I do not know if this species occur in the Vosges....you never know!
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.