Wellington on a good day - no wind, sunshine, and signs that spring is getting closer - what could be better! Well, a walk in the Botanic Garden and a visit to the scented garden made it better still.
On the grassy hill by the Treehouse visitor centre, early Narcissus - white and yellow (probably N. tazetta) - are already blooming brightly. But what were the flashes of orange that I saw? Monarch butterflies were feeding and flittering and chasing each other and resting in the sunshine. Evidently they have been overwintering here. After the cold, rain and gales of the previous week, they appeared to be making up for lost time. Alas, I was not equipped to photograph the ones on the wing, but I happily photographed some of the butterflies more intent on feeding. These ones on a camellia bush were so settled they looked more like colourful flowers.
There was quite a choice of flowers for a hungry butterfly - yellow wallflowers,pale purple wallflowers,or "yellow daphne" - Edgeworthia chrysantha also known as oriental paperbark, not to mention heliotrope, daphne and other scented lovelies in the garden. The butterflies' wings looked a bit weatherbeaten, but they were still a magnificent sight. And the scented flowers were a treat for me too.