A warm summer and a mild winter will provide a variety of butterflies for our enjoyment, although this is not nature's aim. She always strives for the propagation of the species.

The summer of 1996 saw the sudden arrival of thousands of painted ladies, several of them joining our local small tortoiseshells, red admirals and peacocks, which lasted well into the autumn. I saw small tortoiseshells as late as 4th November.

Along our lovely Bude Canal footpath I observed the prolific gatekeepers, speckled wood meadow brown, ringlet and the lovely green hairstreak.

Many small holly blues, orange tip, brimstone and one clouded yellow - the latter do not survive our winters. Elephant and privet hawk moths have also been noted.