CAST upon the air like a fluttering piece of orange and white confetti, the little butterfly danced and whirled above the grass and wildflowers by the River Devon near Tillicoultry.

It was an orange-tip butterfly, and I followed its progress like a man possessed in the hope of capturing a photograph.

But each time it seemed about to alight on the ground, a new zest of life filled its wings, and up on its way the butterfly went once more.

Orange-tips have been described as 'feel good' butterflies, and no wonder, because they have a brightness and freshness about them that mirrors a crisp freshly ironed tablecloth.

It is the brightness of the orange combined with that dazzling whiteness; a happy and reinvigorating contrast.

The French call the orange-tip 'aurora', representing the glowing sun at daybreak.

Here, it was also once known as the 'lady of the woods', but that is a rather inappropriate name, as it is more a butterfly of grasslands and hedgerows, where it can seek out its favoured plants to lay eggs on such as cuckooflower and garlic mustard.

There was certainly plenty of cuckooflower coming out into bloom here on the haugh of the River Devon – and there were other butterflies about too, including peacocks and small tortoiseshells.

A comma also swept by on orange-brushed wings, alighting briefly to as to reveal its scalloped-edged wings.

Commas are recent colonisers to Scotland and their numbers in Clackmannanshire seem to be increasing with each passing year.

My eyes were soon drawn to the steep Ochil scarp that towered above the haugh to the north.

Here, in some of the sun-exposed clefts and gullies, the green hairstreak butterfly prospers.

It is a diminutive emerald gem, which exhibits a delicate beauty that beguiles and enthrals in a way that few other creatures can.