Butterflies in the Belfry

I’ve written before, in Life out of Death, about the wildlife habitat that is the ruins of the strikingly photogenic Old St Helen’s Church, one of the oldest buildings in Hastings. During last year’s hot summer it was a joy to see the old, disused graveyard teeming with butterflies.

I rarely use filters but Old St Helen’s Church is just made for photo effects!

This summer I’ve been longing for a chance to go back and see the butterflies there again, take some more photos, and check on the prevalence of the Common Blue that was so…common there last year. It’s been predicted that this is going to be a bumper year for the brilliant blue, British butterfly, yet I’ve seen very few so far this summer (although plenty of Holly Blues).

Today I managed to grab a few minutes to visit the site and was pleasantly relieved to see quite a number of Common Blues there again.

Common Blue, today

Even more excitingly, though, I spotted at least two Brown Argus (and took the photo below). Like other butterflies I’ve reported on in previous blog posts, this pretty, petite butterfly is a species I’d normally associate with the countryside, especially downland, so to see them populating this wild patch of urbanity is sheer delight.

Some time I intend to make an attempt at writing some reflections I’ve been pondering about the harmony of man and nature. But for now suffice to say that this little area, although abandoned in terms of its original use as a place of worship (but now conserved by Sussex Heritage Trust together with local community groups), is thriving with living colours of the Creator, giving rise to a different expression of worship.

One in which nature sings with vibrant wings.