Waking to a sunny morning – at last! – and conscious as ever of my duties as The Dabbler’s Jack Hargreaves, I was up betimes with a song in my heart and the Surrey Hills in my mind. Pausing only to don the metaphorical Norfolk jacket, set the metaphorical trilby at a jaunty angle and clap the metaphorical pipe between the teeth, I strode off (after turning back smartly for trousers and boots (Enough with the clowning, get on with it – Ed.)). After an unnecessarily long train journey, I alighted (an action only possible with trains – I like to make the most of it) at Boxhill and Westhumble station while there was yet a touch of chill in the air. But the sun was still keeping the clouds at bay, the breeze was nothing too blowy, and it was warming up fast as I neared my favourite butterfly haunts. Everywhere were signs of summer being nearly at an end – abundance of ripe berries everywhere, the first yellow and red leaves, the wild marjoram mostly over, though some was still in flower, as were scabious and hawkweed, bellflowers, yellow toadflax… I wasn’t really expecting much in the way of butterfly action, but before many minutes had passed, there I was face to face with a magnificent male Adonis Blue, basking barely a yard away! As it turned out, I was to see half a dozen more of these beauties – the most intensely, breathtakingly blue (almost turqouise) of all our Blues – before my short walk was over. I was also granted a long close look at a very fine Chalkhill Blue – such a subtle pale silvery blue that it looked almost white in flight – this was the only one I’ve seen this year, so I was especially glad of the encounter. Also along the way a Small Copper seemed to take a fancy to me, fluttering around my feet and landing frequently to bask in the sun and my admiration – a very beautiful little butterfly, with a coppery sheen to its forewings and subtly marked underwings, and a tiny swallowtail to each wing… There were Common Blues too (the males not far short of the Adonis in beauty), and of course Meadow Browns and the odd Gatekeeper and Speckled Woods galore, and a fine fresh Comma drinking in the sunlight. No great range or quantity then, but ah the quality! If this was the last of summer for me, it’s ended on a high note, entranced amid Adonis Blues.