Monday, 12 December 2011

A Rare, And Beautiful Sighting On The Sussex Downs.

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.
I really could not believe my luck when I spotted these two beauties enjoying the sunshine just as nature intended. Feverishly, my hands shaking, I scrabbled in my rucksack, desperate to get my camera out. Where was it? Oh no! Would you believe it, I had forgotten to take my camera with me!

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.


  1. Do you think they may have thought you were stalking them? It seems a dumb thing to do hiking with a back pack in the nude. Anyway it gave you your jollies for the day. Same with me and my post of nude grey nomads.

  2. Haha- well I know it wasn't me- I've backpacked in a lot of ways but never in the buff- too much chaffing and opportunities for scratching

  3. What naked hikers? Are they hiding behind the butterflies?

  4. It's a pity there weren't more butterflies. When only a couple of them are there they are not quite as colorful.

  5. You must have inspected extremely closely to come up with such a beautiful painting of your two beauties.

  6. Ah yes, butterflies are indeed beautiful creatures.

    Love the header picture, it would make a gorgeous Christmas card.

  7. Good job my husband hasn't spotted any of these Camberwell beauties when we've been on the downs, it might have been the end of him with his dicky heart, lol

  8. The things one will endure for the sake of art is astounding :)
    Love your header.

  9. I'm more interested in your header shot. Is that your tree? It's absolutely beautiful. I agree with Valerie, it would make a beautiful card.