Blue Monday: Opening Up

Holly Blue composite

Blue Monday: Opening Up

I couldn’t resist creating this composite from the images I captured of a female Holly Blue butterfly, opening up her wings in the warm sunshine! The rich, golden stone of The Cotswolds really set off the intense colour of the upperside wings. I am including a gallery of the individual images and a haiku based poem inspired by the joy of finding a blue with her wings open!

Holly Blue

Little holly blue
My eyes long to view those bright
Sky-hued upper wings

My heart sings with joy
When the sunny skies bring out
Your very best side

A sapphire jewel
Sat upon the Cotswold wall
A golden setting


Blue Monday: Holly Blues In Spring

Holly Blue Butterfly

Blue Monday: Holly Blues In Spring

These last few weeks of warm, sunny weather have brought out many of our native butterflies and they have been delightful! The Holly Blue is the first of the British blues to emerge from overwintering pupae in the Spring generation. They stay high in the trees most of the time and you have the best chance of seeing them near holly trees, where this generation will lay their eggs. The late Summer generation, hatched from these larvae will, in turn, lay their eggs on the ivy to complete this wonderful cycle! I finally managed to get close to one as it sunned itself, lower down on brambles, at Dapdune Wharf on the Wey Navigation in Guildford. It refused to open those beautiful, little wings but you can still see the silvery-blue of the undersides.

Holly Blue Butterfly


Blue Monday: A Holly On The Ivy

Holly Blue Butterfly On The Ivy

Blue Monday: A Holly On The Ivy

This is a female Holly Blue butterfly that I spotted yesterday, the final day of The Big Butterfly Count for Butterfly Conservation UK. The black on the tips of the upper-wing distinguishes it from the male. I knew it was female, even before I got a decent look at the partly open wings, as it was laying eggs near the flower buds of the ivy that was growing thickly through the beech hedge! There are two broods of this butterfly seen through the course of the year. The spring generation converge around holly trees and shrubs on which their larvae will feed. They will pupate and emerge as adults in late summer when they will then be seen congregating around ivy, on which they will lay their eggs. The larvae of the summer brood will pupate and overwinter in the ivy, emerging as early as the first week of April the following year.

Blue Monday is hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor in honour of Smiling Sally
Smiling Sally