Blooming willow

Cherry and apple trees are not the only ones providing a beautiful view when being in full bloom. Willow, a rather conventional tree, provides a spectacular attraction in spring. Being abloom, willow is a true magnet for insects, including butterflies.

Butterflies often rest on the ground in immediate distance to trees, and visit blossoms for nectar every once in a while. Therefor, watch out for individuals both on the trees as around them.

While chasing butterflies I tried just standing still, close to a low willow in full bloom, waiting. Within minutes I caught four species, which made me think why I generally move at all.

Last but not least, when willow is abloom it is easy to identify the trees/bushes from distance. Later on, when the trees carry leafs, especially goat willow (Salix caprea) will act as primary food plant for caterpillars of countless species, including the Purple Emperor (Apatura iris), the Scarce Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis xanthomelas) and the Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) .

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