Ripe grapes and a blue butterfly

At 3 a.m. this morning, for the first time this year, I heard the tractors and grape-picking machines leaving the village to begin the harvest of the white grapes. These are usually harvested at night to avoid the 30°C and higher heat of the day which isn’t good for white grapes as they’re being transported to the caves. Out in the vineyards this morning I could see that it won’t be very long – a couple of weeks probably – before the harvest of the red grapes is under way.

While I was taking photos of the vines Lo Jardinièr called me to look at a butterfly that had settled on his hand. It stayed there for about 5 minutes so I had a chance to take several photos of it.

When I got home I looked it up in Butterflies of Britain and Europe: A Photographic Guide and identified it as an Amanda’s Blue (Polyommatus amandus) that apparently likes to land on human limbs because it gets minerals from sweat – so that explains why it stayed so long, something I’ve never seen a butterfly do before.

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11 thoughts on “Ripe grapes and a blue butterfly

  1. Vineyards look amazing in August and September as the leaves change colour. I did a fashion shoot in Spain, on the then new Chandon cava vineyard, back in 1991, specifically for the colour of the vine leaves. Beautiful butterfly too ;-)

  2. Here in the Napa Valley we have also started picking the whites–for sparkling wines primarily, and yes, night picking has become very prevalent here in the last 5 years or so. Mornings are still cool and foggy, and the reds may be a month off..

    • Interesting to hear that the same timetable is being followed so far away. The nights are much cooler for picking the white grapes – for the reds it doesn’t matter so much so they will be picked during the day.

  3. Harvesting the grapes. A sure sign that Fall is approaching, even if the temperatures say otherwise. Such a beautiful butterfly. I wonder how it evolved to seek out human contact rather than run from it. That must be some tasty salt.

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