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How to Find Your Way with Butterflies

The Brimstone butterfly

Butterflies can help us find our way, all we have to do is to take an interest in their habitats – and the fussier the better.

The Brimstone is a beautiful butterfly and hard to miss, with its delicate green, yellow and off-white shades, but it is not great for navigating. It is too tolerant – it will put up with too many habitats, from grassland to woodland.

There are fortunately lots of butterflies that are more choosy. Take a look at the picture below.

Is it a leaf? Is it bark?

No, it’s the comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album).

Comma butterfly
The Comma butterfly

The comma is one of my favourites. Because it is beautiful, but also because it helps us make a map. It is a sign we are near the edge of woodland.

Plug alert: this sign appears in my book, Wild Signs and Star Paths, together with a neat way of remembering it.

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