Butterflies love my mint

Some years ago I returned home from Burning Seed with a terrarium made from a plastic bottle and in it was a little mint plant

I’d built the terrarium at a workshop run by Di and Daryl at Mint Country Club, where they articulated the ten principles of Burning Man for an audience of mostly first-time Burners.

Di and Daryl are better known outside the Burner community for their attendance at country shows as First Light stilt walkers and they performed at Leeton’s show in 2019.

Anyway, I’ll cut a long story short, years later the mint now occupies a corner of my yard and is popular with a variety of insects.

As autumn begins the mint flowers are attended by bees, moths and an assortment of butterflies.

It’s surprised me how many types of butterflies flutter around.

At first I thought there were a few species, but after comparing my photos to Google’s search results, I think I’m up to around half a dozen now.

A photograph gives me the opportunity to identify their characteristics, like the spotted body on the Plain Tiger — which seems a misnomer.

And I didn’t know these small, bright yellow creatures are also butterflies.

I’ve said that nothing sorts out introverts and extraverts quicker than someone pointing a camera at them, and this seems to be true of butterflies.

The older-looking ones with faded and rough-edged wings will seem oblivious as I move increasingly closer to take photographs; while the pale ones are skittish and fly up over my head, sometimes circling around behind me to get back to the mint but other times continuing up over my house.

Another plant that seems to be popular with some insects is the basil I bought a supermarket

It’s worth getting a little punnet of living basil during spring, because if you treat it right it’ll supply you with fresh herb throughout the warmer months.

I found a caterpillar under one of the leaves this week, while picking the remaining leaves after the basil had flowered.