Friday, 20 April 2012

On seeing the first Orange Tip of Spring

This very morn i espied
That hedgerow beauty
Anthocharis cardamines
Or Orange Tip for the first
Time this year;
The French call it l'Aurore
Which is French Dawn...
Not Dawn French
In 2008 it was first seen
Over three weeks later ~
Last year on 24th March
Many species have responded
In this way to warmer
Spring weather;
The caterpillars are very
Fussy about what they
Eat; only Cuckoo Flower
and Garlic Mustard are
Acceptable to these
Tiny epicures;
The Cuckoo Flower is
Also known as...
Meadowcress, Mayflower,
Pigeon's Eye, Lucy Locket
And Bittercress;
It has a baleful reputation
And is forbidden indoors in
Ireland; in France it is
Associated with adders;
Picking one ensures
An adder bite within a year
As the name suggests
The Orange Tip has...
Orange Tips on its wings;
The males anyway;
The females are just plain
White; Both genders
Have a delightful mottled
Underside like moss agate;
They will be around until
Late April and are one of
The few success stories
Of English Lepidoptera,
Steadily pushing North
Year on year ~
Enjoy !!

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