Thursday, June 22, 2023

Mirabile Dictu!

Mirabile dictu (I speak of miracles) is a phrase used by IRP Heslop in Notes & Views of the Purple Emperor, published 60 years ago (1964)...

It's most appropriate for what I and others saw at Knepp today. 

I feared that the population there might collapse this year, as the sallows dropped myriad leaves in last summer's drought.  

But the butterfly is emerging in impressive numbers there. Today, Day 3 of the flight season, I counted 15 on the Knepp PE transect. That's the second highest count for Week 1, and the highest count recorded that early in the season...

Finger's crossed, but this is near-miraculous, considering that the population was on its knees last August. 

It all gives credence to the hypothesis that the crucial thing for determining adult numbers is weather during the pupation and pupal periods. Last year, we had the Platinum Jubilee = vile weather, and the population dipped. This year, the weather's been splendid since May 19th. 

It's early days yet but this could be the best PE year since 2018...

To the woods and scrublands, the lot of you! Skip work tomorrow, skip the wedding on Saturday (even if it's your own). Go Emperoring...

Here's a Knepp Tamworth sow celebrating this wonder story - 

And here's Himself getting plastered this afternoon at Knepp - 

And to add to it all, a 'Black Admiral' (White Admiral aberration nigrina) was seen in Alice Holt Forest today. 

To the woods!

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