A Butterfly Diary – Please Join In!

Change is what makes us better people – ask any butterfly and he’ll know what I mean…


Yes, a little out of focus I know, but after chasing him round the garden I was just glad to have got a shot of him! A Comma (Polygonia c-album or C-Falter in German) is a rare enough sight, let alone in mid-March! This was March 13th to be precise. Commas overwinter and this generation will fly until June or so. They are apparently quite common in Germany, but I hardly ever see them. They have beautifully shaped wings (and are sometimes called Angelwings), and when they are closed you can see the characteristic comma shape in white on the dark background. You can see it well in the photo below which I took a couple of summers ago…


Among other plants, the Comma caterpillars like to feed on hazel and pussy willow, both of which are in our garden.


I also saw a Common Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni, Zitronenfalter) that day. It’s the yellow blur below on the left…


This butterfly has the longest life expectancy of all butterflies found in Germany – up to 12 months.

I will do my best to get a better photo this year!

Since then I have glimpsed a Peacock (Inachis io, Tagpfauenauge) and a Cabbage White (Pieris brassicae, Kohlweißling). The Peacock is one of our most common butterflies here – not to be confused with the American Peacocks. The photo below is from last autumn…


“Thou spark of life that wavest wings of gold,

Thou singless wanderer ‘mid the singful birds”

(from Ode to a Butterfly, by Thomas Wentworth Higginson)

I will be keeping a Butterfly Diary this year, and posting towards the end of each month – with or without photos and with some butterfly links. If anyone would like to join in please do! It would be so interesting to hear which butterflies visit your gardens around the world!


European Butterflies

UK Butterfly Conservation Site