No, I haven’t been chasing elephants. They’re all insects! Today the University of Reading campus grasslands were a-buzz with spectacular insects, from myriad burnet moths which went spinning away from every knapweed flower to the emperor dragonfly patrolling the margins.

Some butterflies on campus appear to be having a good year too, and I’ve seen heartening pictures pop up on Twitter from elsewhere of big clusters of small tortoiseshell and peacock caterpillars feeding on nettle. I know everything isn’t right with the world of insects but it’s nice to bathe in the illusion, every once in a while, that it is. Their saving grace may well be that numbers climb spectacularly when conditions are right.

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