It’s still only March and yet there are butterflies in this woodland glade. I can see they are an unnerving sulphur yellow colour. Their colour is quite unlike anything else and it must be a male Brimstone butterfly Gonepteryx rhamni. I find it almost impossible to believe that this fragile piece of life could have been alive and in hibernation for the whole of this winter, only to revive now and start a determined search for a female.
If the name butterfly comes from the original of ‘butter-coloured fly’, then the Brimstone is prime candidate to have named all of the other species.
I can’t think of the word Brimstone without thinking of the Dennis Potter play ‘Brimstone and Treacle’. I know the movie features Sting so I’ve never seen it.