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How to find 'Sleeping Beauty'


I waited and watched and waited some more, for a Painted Lady butterfly to settle on one of last years dried wild Marjoram flowers up on the Downs above Lewes last week.( middle picture).

They sit broadside to the setting sun to get a last bit of warmth before sleeping, and being on top of the hill they then get the warmth of the rising sunlight on their other side in the morning. Top left is a common Blue on Seaford Head last night. I looks wide awake as they all do but that's because they can't shut their eyes like we can. Their feet lock onto the plant (like a polecat's jaw on a Rabbit) to stop the breeze blowing them off and they semi-shutdown like your laptop 'sleeping'. To prove it I photographed one on Malling Down, Lewes with my hand next to it (top middle). Top right is Maria taking another blue's photo using her mobile phone camera as I do, with plenty of time to get the background scenery just right for a perfect shot.

Most butterflies sleep the same way and my favourite shot has to be the superbly camouflaged Orange tip still asleep on an apple blossom, both bejewelled in dew drops before the sun came up. Sleeping Beauty indeed.

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