The past few days have been lovely, with properly warm sunshine arriving by lunchtime even when the day starts foggy or frosty.
This means some of the spring emerging insects are making an early move. Some of them will benefit from being able to forage a bit to tide them over until the reliably warm weather. Mostly these are species that overwinter as adults and can simply tuck themselves away in a protected spot for a few more weeks of dormancy when the chill returns.
We've seen Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni (le Citron) butterflies out and about. They hunker down hidden in thick ivy or bramble to survive the winter, but can often be seen flying as early as February. They 'hatch' in summer and can live as long as 11 months, hibernating through the winter and emerging to start the new generation the following spring. Here, with our chalky soil, the caterpillars eat Common Buckthorn Rhamnus cathartica (or le Nerprun purgatif in French).
Celandine Ranunculus ficaria (le ficaire fausse-renoncule)