The earlier pictures were taken on my wee compact Canon ixus 970IS, which involved sneaking up on the butterflies. This can be very frustrating when they fly off, but very rewarding when they don't!
Since 2012 I have been using a Panasonic Lumix FZ150, which allows me to zoom in to the butterflies from a couple of metres away.
Thursday, 12 April 2012
Large White - Pieris brassicae
Two summers ago our kids occupied themselves one day by collecting caterpillars from some nasturtiums growing outside our neighbour's house and bringing them into our garden to eat our nasturtiums!
When they reached a sheltered spot they shed their skin and then started to fatten up. If you look carefully, there is a length of silk around the second segment from the right holding the caterpillar to the wall.
They turned out to be the caterpillars of Large White butterflies, Pieris brassicae. Over the next few days they grew bigger ...
... until our nasturtiums had almost all been eaten! Then one day I noticed a couple of caterpillars climbing up the walls of the house.
Within an hour or so, they were looking more like a chrysalis.
And this is what they looked like a couple of days later. This was the end of September and the chrysalises remained there all winter. One day the next spring I checked and discovered that the chrysalises had all emerged and I had missed the butterflies!
This is what the adult butterflies would have looked like.