Springtime Came Yesterday and Left Again Today

Yesterday was Springtime. I know this because a butterfly told me. It was the first butterfly we’ve seen in the garden this year.  The battered condition of this Small Tortoiseshell is a testament to its having survived the winter.  I suspect that today it has gone back into whatever warm place it likes to call home.      We went into Preston for lunch and, as it was such a nice day, we parked down by the river and walked up through Miller and Avenham Parks into town.       Warm enough to sit in the sun:  But not warm enough for me to discard winter woollens just yet. (Current weather here right now is: wind, heavy rain, chilly, i.e. WINTER) I know that a lot of us bloggers in the northern hemisphere are awaiting springtime.  The one who instantly comes to mind is Liz at  Dot Knows!   Why not pay her a visit at Elleturner4.wordpress.com Her blog promises: Fab photos, witty asides and light hearted humour….  If you enjoy wildlife, blue skies and general joie de vivre, you won’t be disappointed.  

Today’s Butterfly Hunt

Today’s butterfly hunt started off very well indeed.  Before we’d even set off we were prancing around a Buddleia bush beside the car clicking our camera shutters. There were Small Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals, Peacocks, a Painted Lady and a Gatekeeper. A 45-minute drive north took us to Myers Allotment up in Silverdale which has been a great place in previous years for a wide variety of butterflies but today it wasn’t. I did manage to get a picture of a Dragonfly though but not much else. Next, a visit to Leighton Moss bird reserve where we saw more Painted Ladies and Red Admirals and then onto one of  our favourite locations for butterfly hunting, Warton Crag. Warton Crag is limestone hill with wonderful walks giving great views right across Morecambe Bay. On our arrival there we were greeted by almost a swarm (slight exaggeration there) of bright yellow Brimstone butterflies. A bit further up the Crag there were some small Common Blues. The sun was shining and we had the place to ourselves. It was perfect! I’d like to share some of today’s shots which I hope you like:                   Today’s butterfly […]

Macro Moments: Two Red Admirals and a Peacock

Two Red Admirals and a Peacock….. which are the butterflies I photographed in the garden this afternoon. This is my offering this week for Susan’s Macro Moments Challenge: Week 7,  which is a link well worth a click. Before I became interested in butterflies a few years back, I had grown up convinced that there were only two sorts in UK:  there were big white ones and there were Red Admirals. When I retired and started doing macro photography, I was amazed stunned  flabbergasted to find out that there are 57 species in the British Isles. So far I’ve probably seen around fifty of these and I love them all. This afternoon in the garden there were Red Admirals, Peacocks, Green-Veined Whites and a Small Tortoiseshell.  All this in a small garden within a couple of hours after lunch. Whilst there is a small resident population of Red Admirals in The British Isles, mostly are migrants: Starting each spring and continuing through the summer there are northward migrations, which are variable in extent and timing, from North Africa and continental Europe. The immigrant females lay eggs and consequently there is an emergence of fresh butterflies, from about July onwards. They continue […]

Macro Moments Challenge: Week 6: Large White

Macro Moments Challenge: Week 6  There haven’t been many butterflies in the garden so far this year but there were a couple of Large Whites this afternoon. I also took some shots of the very same wasps I had been shooing out of the bathroom window this morning. Well, they looked pretty much like the same ones and they’d brought all their friends with them too to enjoy the nectar from the flowers alongside the bees and butterflies. There were some really interesting flies too, which I photographed. I do love what macro allows me to see.   Exif data for this image: Canon EOS 7D with Canon EF100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM lens f5.0 ISO 640 1/2500 sec    

Macro Moments: Week 1

A big thank you to Susan at Musin’ with Susan for her Macro Moments Challenge:Week 1  For my first post for this challenge I’ve chosen a shot of a Common Blue butterfly taking nectar from a Birdsfoot Trefoil flower. I hope to spend a lot of time again this summer lying down watching these tiny creatures feeding and basking in the sunshine (that’s the butterflies I mean, though I don’t mind the odd bit of feeding and basking too). I always say that life isn’t so bad when you can spend hours eyeballing butterflies. I hope you like this image:   Exif data: Canon 7D EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM f 5.0 1/2000sec (Pinpoint focus on the eye)            

Throwback Thursday: White-Letter Hairstreak

Today’s digging into the archives brought up a picture of this rare butterfly, a White-Letter Hairstreak, I was lucky enough to see last year. I love the way the sticky-out bits on the edge of the lower wings make it look like it’s kicking its back legs in the air!   Difficult to spot as it flies around the tops of trees, particularly Elms. It occasionally comes down to ground level to nectar on flowers, especially privet and bramble. The species declined in the 1970s when its foodplants were reduced by Dutch Elm disease but it is recovering in a few areas in England and Wales (Butterfly Conservation) I hope I can see another one this summer.

Butterflies’ Eyes

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Close Up.” There are few things better than going out on a sunny day with the intention/hope of looking a butterfly straight in the eye. It doesn’t always work out but it’s so rewarding when it does. Orange-tip butterflies are amongst my favourites. They are smaller than my thumbnail. Macro photography lets me see them in a way that my eyes, even with my new specs’, could not. and in close-up

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