Nature is still open for business

The world is currently in the grip of a devastating virus, a type of coronavirus known as covid-19. Originating in China, the illness has now spread rapidly across the globe resulting in a pandemic being declared a little over a week ago. Since then life as we know it has changed dramatically. Offices, pubs, restaurants and all but essential shops and schools have now closed and we have been told to stay at home, only leaving the house to shop for supplies and once a day for exercise.

Whilst our lives are essentially on hold and our towns and cities all but deserted, the natural world continues to change with the seasons and life carries on beyond our enforced boundaries. Fortunately nature has not been closed to us completely and is still there to be enjoyed in whatever small we can, whether that be a spot of gardening, a simple dog walk or just watching the birds from your window.

I’m very grateful that I have never had to travel far to enjoy nature but the close proximity of my ‘patch’ is now even more valuable. Fortunately, aside from the occasional passing dog walker I had the area pretty much to myself.

I didn’t have to go far at all to find a little happiness thanks to this little wildflower patch already bursting with spring daisies. Fortunately this year the area has been left to grow wild and untamed when usually it would be decimated by the council and their strimmers!

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The area seems to be a hotspot for these stunning small tortoiseshell butterflies who were out in abundance today. I have only ever seen one or two at once here, so to see at least a dozen today was a real treat and hopefully the sign of a good year ahead for the species.

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Whilst most butterflies were busy feeding on the dandelion flowers, some were making the most of the sunshine by basking in the warm patches of bare soil.

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There was even a little courtship taking place, with several pairs of butterflies pursuing each other through the air in spiralling flight patterns. Sadly my photographic skills fall far short of capturing this in action, fortunately the butterflies also continued their behaviour when they descended to the ground.

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Here the male butterfly (behind) is attempting to woo his chosen female by flicking his wings and gently tapping her with his antennae. No need for flowers in the butterfly world!

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The behaviour is better demonstrated here in this video clip.

This morning’s dose of nature therapy was the perfect antidote to the anxiety and uncertainty currently hanging over us all.

Now more than ever it is important to look after our mental health and nature is a fantastic source of stimulation and happiness. Remember though if you are heading outdoors in the coming days please do so responsibly, observing social distancing and washing your hands regularly.

Stay safe everyone.

#naturetherapy #mentalhealth #neednaturenow

All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography © 2020
www.greyfeatherphotography.com

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