On Thursday, March 9, the temperature finally rose to give us our first warm sunny spring day.

As I left the house at 11 o'clock I thought to myself ' Ah, this is brimstone butterfly weather'

Sure enough, thirty seconds later a bright yellow male flew towards me looking rather like an animated daffodil!

A few minutes later I received a text informing me that another one had been spotted in Northamptonshire.

It is thought that the noun 'butterfly' is derived from the old English 'butter-coloured fly', used centuries ago and its life-cycle dispels the myth that butterflies live for just a day.

In fact the brimstone is our longest lived species at just under a year. Hibernating in ivy or beneath bramble leaves the butterfly appears from the first warm February or March morning and flies until late May.

Eggs are laid on buckthorn and the new brood will be on the wing from July but will not breed until the following spring.

Brimstones fly rapidly around woodland margins and glades being especially fond of bluebells as a nectar source.

They are true sun worshippers and directly a cloud appears they drop down to shelter somewhere, always with wings closed.

The photo shows the male. The female is a very light greenish-white.