As I cycled home, a little after noon (and the afternoons do seem to be getting noticeably littler by the day), I spotted a somewhat dishevelled red admiral (the butterfly, rather than a Soviet naval officer) sunning himself on the cycle path. As I also saw (and heard) a skylark ascending, it would seem that summer’s lease has not yet expired – or, perhaps it has, and Autumn needs to get the bailiffs in to force the issue (or, at the very least, to change the locks).
Seeing the admiral led me to muse on the lack of any lower ranks – there are no butterflies named for the ratings, chief petty officers, lieutenants or even captains that a human navy needs to operate successfully. It seems that in the butterfly navy, there are too many chiefs and not enough (or, indeed, any) native Americans. I think this may explain why the lepidoptera have never been taken seriously as a naval power.