With less likelihood of a chilly start to the day – June is a good time to take a closer look at insects which will be on the wing much earlier in the day -– but you may also notice that some of the butterflies that graced your garden in the spring – such as brimstone, comma and peacock – have temporarily disappeared.
Whilst the general decline in butterfly numbers is a concern, this temporary absence is just a function of the lifecycle of double-brooded species. After emerging in spring the adults of these species decline in number as they die after mating and egg laying. Thankfully, their offspring are hidden away as eggs pupae and caterpillars ready for a second emergence to brighten our summer come July.
The ‘June Gap,’ as it is sometimes referred to, is exacerbated by the fact that some single brooded species that visit gardens, including meadow brown and gatekeeper, are yet to emerge whilst species such as the orange tip will now not remerge till next spring – highlighting just how fleeting our chance to experience some species each year really is.
The need to take time to savour all that Mother Nature has to offer is one of the motivations behind our annual 30 Days Wild Challenge. By taking time to do something to connect with or support nature each day in June you can enhance your wellbeing as well as your wildlife knowledge.
There’s still time to sign up to take the challenge alongside thousands of others from across the UK and as a 30 Days Wild devotee, I’d urge you to take the plunge. With so much wildlife around us this month, June is the ideal time to make time and space in your days to let nature in.
Instead of ruing the ‘June Gap’ you could go on the hunt for butterfly eggs and caterpillars and then see if you can identify which species you’ve got to look forward to. You could look out for toadlets making the reverse migration their parents made in the spring to spawn and, of course, you could go in search of wildflowers including orchids. Nottinghamshire has a number of orchid species, which can be found in shady corners in woodland and hedgerows where you might spot early purple orchids or in sunlit meadows where you might discover green-winged orchids.
Go wild every day this June
Whatever type of wildlife floats your boat, do consider signing up to 30 Days Wild this year. Everyone can benefit from taking part – no matter how busy your lifestyle or where you live.
Making time to connect with nature and wildlife is fun and has real potential to make you feel better – not just immediately – but longer-term too. Spending time in nature – perhaps in amongst trees, overlooking a body of water or surrounded by birdsong is genuinely life enhancing as well as life-affirming – so why not give it a go?
We’ll be posting ideas and inspiration to throughout the month, and we’d be delighted if you could share photos of how you are rising to the challenge – tagging us on social media so we can see how you’re getting on. For further details visit www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org.
Images main and inset: Brimstone Butterfly, Keren Young; Peacock Butterfly, Gee White