The weather pendulum tends to swing widely back and forth between extremes at this time of year. When it's overcast, wet or the northerly wind snaps at your ears and nose it's head down on the walks up the Welcombe Hills for some spoon carving, looking up only to check for obstacles. It seemed as if these days would never end.
Yesterday the pendulum swung the other way and in the shelter of the Clopton Park side of the hills the heat from the sun encouraged many a walker to unzip top and remove hat. As I ambled along the very top of the field parallel to the bridle path I looked up from my whittling to enjoy the bright, warm light. That very same light and warmth brought a beautiful Small Tortoiseshell butterfly to life and it lay on the bare soil, wings extended absorbing the heat. This butterfly would have been from the second brood of last year. These are the first to reappear having hibernated all winter. You may have found these in your shed or greenhouse. It may be this one had found a sheltered place in a hollow tree.
When I prepared to go out yesterday I toyed with the idea of bringing the camera with me in anticipation of what the seasonal change might bring. Below is a picture of a Small Tortoiseshell from last year and I will be with camera from now on.