Chasing the Butterfly of Coincidence

Sometimes one thing leads to another and that other thing can be rather unexpected. I knew there were Small Heath butterflies on our reptile slope and as I was due to do a reptile survey anyway I thought I would try and get some photos.

Small Heath by Graham Watkeys

Small Heath by Graham Watkeys

Small heaths are…. well…. small and mostly brown but having done all my courses on advanced butterfly stalking and being armed with a sense of determination and willing to spend some of my judiciously hoarded store of patience (and a fully charged camera) off I went.

Having found my Small Heath and as expected ended up following it around waiting for it to at last land and settle (which are not the same thing) I sat down (slowly) my eyes firmly fixed on a little brown butterfly in amongst a load of brown background and took my photos. Then I did what you do when taking photos I sat looking at what I had taken skipping though the many blurred ones judging whether my store of patience had been spent wisely.

Taf Fechan Bee Orchid by Graham Watkeys

Taf Fechan Bee Orchid by Graham Watkeys

Then I looked to my left and there it was, so close I was practically sitting on it. A Bee Orchid. I got rather excited after the cold shivers of thinking “I could have sat on that!” had faded. One plant on the whole of the reptile slope and this little brown butterfly had led me straight to it!

The first Bee Orchid ever to have been recorded at Taf Fechan as far as I’m aware (maybe the first in Merthyr Tydfil for that matter). Now I am not a believer in what I’ve delightfully heard called “New-age woo” (my crystals are purely there out of geological interest) but I want to use words like quantum synchronicity and cosmic alignment which are probably just as bad and are “New-age woo” in all but name so maybe I should call it coincidence?