The numbers of butterflies in Highbury Park has drastically fallen since the meadow was cut early. The colder, wetter weather has not helped, either. But on the positive side, it is now being arranged for the cut to always take place later in the season, around the back half of August. It is great news, and shows what can be achieved for nature when we all work together.
In celebration, I've posted some photos I snapped before the meadow was cut, and hadn't previously posted. The tiny Small Skipper, so full of personality as it dances like shards of sunlight among the tall grasses before resting on a flower; the Comma, quite large, and fast though eratic of flight on its beautifully sculpted and scalloped wings; and the elusive Gatekeeper, which likes to hide away on undergrowth. When I took this picture of the Gatekeeper I was bowled over by the way the sun shone through its delicate wings, making it light up like a stained glass window to enable me to see through it to the glorious orange with thick, rich brown border that decorates its upper wings. Stunning.