A single Speckled Wood butterfly was flitting around the garden today, perching briefly in a patch of sunlight on a stone, leaf or wall, then moving on.

 

According to Butterfly Conservation  this species usually feeds on aphid honeydew in the treetops, only visiting garden flowers early or late in the season when aphids are in short supply. On a rather breezy afternoon, this butterfly was refueling from rudbeckia flowers.

 

This Small Tortoiseshell also seemed more interested in basking than feeding. Here it has perched briefly on the tattered leaves of a perennial salvia, cut down after flowering in the hope of new growth.  The faded leaves make the butterfly’s wings look all the more brilliant.