Occasionally something happens in life that is guaranteed to cause a lot of happiness and excitement. Which are exactly the emotions that I experienced when I came across this remarkable scene one day last year, whilst enjoying a summers day walk on the beautiful South Downs, here in West Sussex, next to my home.
Nobody would believe what I was witnessing without photographic evidence. If I was to mention this extraordinary event down at the pub over a beer or two, they would just laugh at me.
However, all was not lost. I decided that I would make a painting of the scene as soon as I reached home. Of course this meant that I would have to observe the scene very closely, and try to remember even the smallest details of it.
Now be honest, if you were to see something this rare and unexpected, would you be able to contain your excitement? Let me tell you it was extremely hard for me.
So that they wouldn't be frightened off, I did my best to hide in the long grass as I watched them closely. Although they were both having such a happy time, that I doubt if they would even be bothered by my bobbing up and down in the grass, as I kept track of their movements.
What exquisite creatures they truly were. Nature in the raw can give up some wonderful moments, and on this occasion nature excelled herself.
I continued to observe them, and even followed for a short distance, but I was not able to keep it up. I am not as young as I once was. In my younger days, I was able to keep going for much longer. But hey, never mind, I had noted as much detail of them as was necessary for the painting, and let's be honest here, I was not going to forget something like this in a hurry!
I do realise that my rather rough painting does not do true justice to their delicate beauty, but I was, after all is said and done, working from memory.
I have titled this painting 'The Camberwell Beauties'. Which is of course the name of this lovely, but sadly endangered species.
Yes indeed, it is not every day that one has the privilege of spotting these rare and beautiful, downland butterflies.
Incidentally, I have no idea what those naked hikers were doing up there. I didn't have time to ask them. As I said my attention was totally focused on the butterflies!
Bye for now. Hope you will visit again soon.