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The thing with some places, like Raby Castle, Alnwick Castle, and a few other sites not part of English Heritage or National Trust but run privately, is that you buy a ticket to get in to the place, which isn’t always cheap, but allows you to visit as many times as you like within a year of buying it. Raby Castle is well worth a few visits and though we’d been back in May, we wanted a return trip to do the butterflies in the beautiful gardens there, always a spectacle.

This year was the year of the painted ladies invasion. The butterfly migrates to the UK each summer where its caterpillars feed on thistles. Every ten years or so there is a “painted lady summer” when they arrive en masse and 2019 was it.

But it wasn’t all painted ladies…


Small white

Red Admiral


Meadow Brown

and the ladies

and it wasn’t all butterflies..

Not sure if these are wasps or hoverflies and I didn’t hang about to find out! 🙂

I was amazed at how much pollen a bee can collect and still fly!



Raby has a wonderful herd of deer, and we were lucky to get close to these guys again

The chaps

there’s always one….

all pictures can be embiggened with a click
full album of pretty pictures HERE

stay tooned folks!

43 comments on “Raby Castle Revisited Again! – August 2019

  1. Gorgeous…dont think Ive ever seen a painted lady!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Clare, they migrate from North Africa and the Middle East and get to us late summer, they colonise heavily in the south of us, thin out a bit as they come north, and cross to N.I but don’t seem to go to proper Ireland.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. April Munday says:

    Lovely. I know very little about butterflies, other than that I don’t want cabbage whites anywhere near my vegetables.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you have to put netting over the veg to keep them off?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. April Munday says:

        I should do, but I forget until it’s too late.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. April Munday says:

            The leaves of my purple sprouting broccoli are very lacy.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue says:

    I don’t see butterflies these days, which is really sad….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is, there don’t seem to be as many as there used to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue says:

        Modern agricultural practice

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome! I have to pinch myself, or open the drapes, to make sure it is winter, here and not summer! Thanks heaps for posting!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting!


      1. You’re welcome! And the whole album was amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. You’re welcome!

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m green with envy! Wow! The first one of the bee in flight took my breath away. Well done, Fraggle.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. beetleypete says:

    Great shots as always. I never seem to have a camera when I see butterflies. Mind you, they are mostly white around here.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Pete, whites here too in my garden, but Raby has all the flowers!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have never seen a Peacock butterfly! Your photos are amazing and the colour so rich. Love “there’s always one..!.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Denzil says:

    I remember when I identified my first painted lady at the age of about 12. Back then it was quite an unusual sight. Now they are pretty common, especially this year. Also back then, I remember buddleia teeming with dozens of small tortoiseshells. This year I think I’ve seen one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s quite worrying the decline in their numbers.


  9. -N- says:

    Do you get more butterflies after a good rainy season (whenever that is!)? We did last year – you could go out and see them everywhere. Sadly, as someone mentioned, modern agricultural practices have doomed so much of the small, unseen life around us. Soon we will pay that price – fruit? vegetables? Anyway, this is a wonderfully colorful and cheerful series in the dead of winter – lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure re: butterflies and rainy season as our rainy season is all year round, but we don’t get them in winter. Cheers Naomi 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jay says:

    Ooooh aaaaah!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lovely images! We don;t get so many varieties of butterfly here, something to do with our extremely large moat possibly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hah yes, cheers Steve.


  12. lolabees says:

    We had a painted ladies migration here in Colorado a few years ago, and it was spectacular! Such a cool phenomenon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lovely to see so many 🙂 cheers Laura


  13. joshi daniel says:

    So beautiful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Truly stunning shots and a reminder of summer, Fraggle. Actually, I mainly popped in to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike, hope yours is good too!


  15. AK says:

    Some very nice compositions, especially the butterflies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Merry Christmas 🤶


  16. richlakin says:

    Wonderful pics. Love the bee and the colour in the butterfly images is fantastic…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. steviegill says:

    Gorgeous butterfly macros and wildlife shots.

    Liked by 1 person

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