Posted by: Ross Gardner | March 5, 2013

At Last!

It is ironic that February is the shortest month and yet it drags on like no other.  Not that I have anything against it.  I enjoy the bustling flocks of waders and wildfowl that stills crowd the estuaries and sheltered coasts as winter nears its end and miss them when they’ve gone.  I admire the gangs of tits and Goldcrest that group together to forage the bare woods through the coldest months.  But February is a bit like Christmas Eve when you are a child.  It is so close to the start of spring, but we just aren’t quite there and the anticipation is almost unbearable!

Comma (Polygonia c-album).  Copyright 2013 Ross Gardner

Comma (Polygonia c-album). Copyright 2013 Ross Gardner

Now, I am not so naive as to think, just because today was exactly what a mild, early-spring day should be, that we are now on the way headlong to the fair and fine days, uninterrupted until the ascent of summer.  But seasonal milestones have been reached, not least the first butterfly of the year –  a momentous occasions on the naturalist’s calendar.  It was a Comma in a wood.  I was at a volunteer work party at the Essex Wildlife Trust’s Pound Wood nature reserve and had spent the morning with half an eye open for the flick of yellow Brimstone wings, or indeed the rich orange-brown of the Comma.  Just as it seemed I was to be denied, the butterfly seem to materialise at my feet as I stood talking with two others, paused just long enough for my eyes to take their fill, before disappearing along the ride.


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