I was attacked today, dear reader, physically attacked by a relentless and determined assailant.
I went with Dave to Chalkney Wood in search of Butterflies. We have Hatfield Forest close too, but that's a lot of walking in the heat, and Chalkney offered a chance to see all HF can offer and more for an extra half-hour drive and without even leaving the car park. At my age, that's no contest.
Dave has given an excellent write up of the session here and provided some wonderfully spectacular photos. Purple Emperor, White Admiral, Silver-Washed Fritillary, a Hairstreak sp (for me), Painted Lady, and Southern Hawker.
But it was as we returned to the car park the assault took place. We saw a Purple Emperor low down round some nettles, and to my surprise and joy it flew towards me, and kept coming, and kept coming, until it buzzed me just overhead, the noise of the wings clearly audible, then returned and buzzed me again, then did this again.
There is no doubt isn my mind this was deliberate. It wasn't just passing close, it was clearly having a go, possibly not liking my movement in its territory. Nevertheless, it was quite an experience to be that close to a Purple Emperor!
One of David's photos from his blog. Found by David quite low down, we got excellent views of the purple sheen as it opened and closed its wing.