Red Admiral rescue after its accidental adventure

However well you know a place and the wildlife in it, you will still be able to see something different every time you visit. Today I watched a butterfly ‘swim’ across the river. Definitely a first for me, and probably the butterfly too.

To be fair, it wasn’t by choice. I think I disturbed her from her early morning perch while I was strimming. She landed wing side up and by a process of wing flapping, wriggling and current riding she managed to make it to the other side and find some vegetation to cling to about 20 feet from where she went in. I have to confess my heart was in my mouth a little and I was contemplating launching the punt, maybe a slight over reaction for a single butterfly, but in the event she made it on her own. To the edge at least. Given that it was my fault she had had such a traumatic start to her day, it only seemed right to help her the last few feet to safety. It turns out that pole saws are the ideal rescuing device. They have a good long handle to (just about) ensure you don’t go in too and side on, a flat surface the perfect size to scoop a butterfly off its precarious reedy perch. After a few minutes drying off in the sun she flew off happily none the worse for her adventure and me with a close encounter that made my day. 

Making it across is no mean feat when you are less than 3 inches across!