I presume most members of The Purple Empire can remember their first sighting of His Imperial Majesty. For me this happened on June 25th this year. With retirement looming over the horizon I realised there were many things I had not seen and decided to put this right. I have a great love of all things nature in particular butterflies. I am also a very keen amateur photographer and combine both interests. At the start of this year I compiled my hit list, at the very top Purple Emperor! Living in Norfolk does not offer many chances to see this mythical beast so I had to travel. Plenty of internet research led me to this site and I decided my best chance, and nearest home, would be Fermyn.
By following the Empire I logged emergence dates and hoped weather and days off work would coincide, I had about 6 chances. Set off early on the 25th, forecast not great but had to take the chance. Arrived opposite the glider club at 8am surprised to see only 2 cars, I had expected mass crowds similar to a rare bird twitch! Walked the northern bridleway seeing nothing so crossed into the Lady Wood complex taking the right hand path. Within a few minutes I was transfixed by my first Emperor on the ground in front of me, a bit tatty but what a feeling of elation.