Flowers and Insects

Although June has the longest days, and July is usually the hottest month in Wicklow, August is when summer blooms reach their peak and the most wildlife is most visible. Flowers attract insects, so go where the flowers are and you will find many beautiful insects. Arguably the most spectacularly beautiful of our butterfly species is the Peacock (Inachis io) which loves big blooms on which it can rest and sun itself while feeding:

The Peacock is the only red butterfly with eye-spots found in Europe, so it’s very easy to identify. I’ve met Americans who specifically search for this butterfly when they tour Ireland, as it’s not found in the Americas.

Keep an eye out for Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) too, as they will not only collect pollen from flowers, but occasionally fall asleep in them. Here is a worker Honey Bee in the flower of a lovely species of wild rose known as the Dog Rose (Rosa canina):

  Some insects stand out boldly when perched resting on flowers, or feeding, but others, despite being extremely boldly coloured, actually blend in. You need to look carefully, for example, to spot the male Common Blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus) perched on the blooms of Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) in this photo: