This winter we had some guests: in the coal store there are about forty butterflies who have been hibernating through the cold months. Technically they are dormant rather than hibernating but it’s pretty much the same thing.
When the weather gets too cold adult butterflies seek a dry place in which to wait for the spring. Sheds and outbuildings are preferred as they are warmer than the outdoors. They are also relatively safe from their predators – spiders and birds.
I am not entirely sure when they will leave. I am also a bit worried that they won’t be able to get out of the coal store when the time comes. I want to encourage them out at the right time, so I think I will have to do a bit more research.
UPDATE: I found more information here. It is still quite cool at the moment, though the spring flowers are out, so I think I will wait for a warm sunny day and open the coal store door.