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Butterflies in Galway

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butterflies in galway image of a white butterflyWe haven’t been seeing too many butterflies in Galway this year but I am glad to say that lately they seem to be making a return.

I see plenty of them fluttering around the garden but for some strange reason I also seem to be finding a lot of butterflies in the house.

The one above perched on my velux window for weeks before disappearing.

THE SMALL TORTOISESHELL BUTTERFLY

butterflies on sedum illustrating a post about butterflies in GalwayThe butterfly perching on the Sedum plant on the right is the ‘Small Tortoiseshell.’

This species is very common in Ireland and at the moment there is a great deal of these butterflies in Galway.

It apparently hibernates in houses sometimes – maybe that’s why I am finding them indoors.

Yesterday I had one fluttering around for a while as though in panic before settling on my living-room window

I suppose they’re getting in because I tend to be leaving more windows open than usual.

This is the first summer in a long time we’ve actually been able to wear summer clothes at home instead of saving them for holidays in some country where the sun shines for more than a few days a year.

In other words we are feeling the heat here in Galway and so, it seems, are the butterflies in Galway.

Most of them seem to flutter around for a few minutes before settling on or near the windows – perhaps they are hinting for me to open up and let them out.

I don’t like to lift them out because they are so fragile and I don’t want to murder them out of ‘helpfulness.’

Most people love butterflies and I certainly do.

They bring joy to the garden for sure but they also bring something else – caterpillars.

butterfly on a leaf - illustrating an article about butterflies in GalwayA few years ago, I made the mistake of growing wildflowers which were supposed to attract butterflies on my allotment.

It worked beautifully, my little patch of land was alive with butterflies but unfortunately my cabbages were alive with caterpillars.

In fact my cabbages were nothing but caterpillars and they were munched to nothing.

I know it’s good to grow your own greens and even better to eat them  but I must admit I didn’t mind losing my cabbage too much.

I prefer butterflies to cabbage and no, I don’t mean boiled.

I’m no expert on butterflies I just like to observe and admire them. I am currently developing an area of my garden just to encourage butterflies and you can read about my butterfly garden here.

If you want to know more about butterflies there is a great site at www.irishbutterflies.com which has beautiful colour pictures and lots of information.

The next fluttery arrival into my garden was more unusual – a butterfly or moth I have yet to identify.

If you think you can help me identify it click here for the yellow butterfly and let me know.

Best of luck with your gardening.

Grace

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