On a warm sunny late April morning I'm sitting in a beech glade. Above me, freshly opened bright green beech leaves seem to glow, while surrounding me is a carpet of bluebells, wafting a faint but pleasing fragrance.

I'm hoping to see a brimstone or orange tip butterfly enter the wood in search of nectar and I don't have long to wait, for, looking for all the world like an animated daffodil, a male yellow brimstone flutters into the wood and homes in on a bluebell floret very close to me.

The scene is back lit, the sun shining through the brimstone's wings through which the abdomen is clearly visible (pictured).

Although colours in nature rarely clash, for me, one of the most beautiful and subtle colour combinations is that of bluebell and brimstone together, so I watch fascinated as the butterfly tops up his energy levels. 

The brimstone, our original 'butter-coloured -fly' is our longest livid species at almost a year including time spent in hibernation under a bramble leaf or among ivy, where its leaf-like wings shape renders it almost invisible. Only the male is yellow, the female being a pale greenish-white.

I'm writing here about our genuine native deep lavender blue pendulous bluebells, not the straight stemmed pale Spanish variety which flowers first and is slowly infiltrating our bluebells woods where there is a danger of hybridising, thus weakening the native strain.