The first meadow brown butterflies hatch at the end of May and by now, the middle of July, some are beginning to look really tattered.
This one has had a particularly rough time of it.
Brambles, a significant source of nectar throughout mid-summer for all butterflies, are also a significant danger, catching and tearing at their wings as they move between flowers. July adds all the hazards of hay making time, and then come the thistles: scented, nectar-rich and an obstacle course of spikes. Summer storms and high winds take their toll.
The park is full of things that hunt and eat butterflies: spiders and spiderwebs, hungry birds with nestlings to feed, mice and shrews. A butterfly might well escape from a predator but sometimes at considerable cost to its wings.
Header picture by DKG