Back from Aosta
It's unbelievable how quickly two weeks can pass by. Last Saturday Frank, Gerard and I left the Aosta - Gran Paradiso region with reluctance but with full memory cards. Aosta has the perfect mix of beautiful butterfly species and impressive mountain/valley landscapes and meadows full of alpine flowers.
Despite the spots we visited were situated in the National Parc, the wild flower meadows were used by farmers with large groups of cattle and within a day all flowers (with caterpillars on it) were consumed by the hungry cows. On Sainfoin I found a lot of caterpillars of different blue species (mostly protected by ants); unfortunately they were all eaten by cows as after a day the complete meadow was empty/destroyed.
Although I'm not a species 'hunter' I hoped to find some species during our trips like the Silvery Argus, the rare Piedmont anomalous Blue, the Meleager's Blue, the Alpine Argus or the Lofty Bath White.....except the Apine Argus we found them all!
Back in Aosta II
Unfortunately tomorrow will be my last day in Aosta. Two weeks went by so fast....although I must admit that I miss my beloved ones.
Until now we counted 71 different butterfly species and the number will rise as we must determine a few skippers yet. Some skippers are very hard to determine when they are wet and covered with dew/raindrops.
It's hard to believe but the Titania Fritillary and the Dark Green Fritillary are the most common butterflies which we found in Aosta. The amount of butterflies is not very high in the National Parc (I guess due to the colder weather) and it was hard work finding roosting butterflies in the morning. The first meadows were already mown and/or empty by hungry cattle. A few times I tried to catch some butteflies with open wings....not easy in the mountains with a lot of clouds and/or hard sunlight. But these two red gentlemen were cooperative for a few moments:
Back in Aosta I
Last year I was overwhelmed by the Aosta - Gran Paradiso region that I wanted to return in 2021. Just in time travelling was possible again and last Saturday Frank, Gerard and I returned to 'our accommodation' with Mont Blanc view. The weather is colder and more windier comparing to last year which results in lower amounts of butterflies. But, I will not complain as after five days we counted 50 different butterfly species!
The second morning we visited our favorite spot from last year and found only four species....two of them in larger numbers....the Geranium Argus and Alpine Heath.
Yesterday morning we found 6 Titania's Fritillary roosting in a little bog meadow and we also found this species as caterpillar and chrysalis.
Every evening after dinner Gerard and I go out and search for butterlies around the accommocation/small hamlet and until now every evening we found an apollo:
This spot is perfect as except butterflies it has two benches 'for us' to watch and enjoy the butterflies!
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.