Flying and the Art of Levitation as Practised by Swans

Flying and the Art of Levitation have fascinated me since I was a child when I frequently made unsuccessful attempts to do either or both. I always believed that the reason I couldn’t  fly was because I wasn’t trying hard enough. Somehow I knew that this potential ability should NEVER be revealed to grown-ups, so I explained that all the thuds coming from my room upstairs were me jumping/falling off my bed. To this day, I still day-dream about it.  Perhaps I was a bird in a past life.  Perhaps I will be in a future life…….. Before my 400mm lens became too heavy to cart around and my reactions slowed down, I used to love photographing birds in flight. Here are some Whooper Swans flying:     And here is a Glaswegian stunt swan practising the art of levitation:     No more practising the art of levitation for me. If I jumped off my bed now, I’d probably break my hip!   Many thanks again to Cee for hosting her Fun Foto Challenge: Crawling or Flying  

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    

Flowers in the Rain (The Move 1968)

When I saw this WordPress Photo Challenge : Details, my train of thought was something like this Details – Macro – Do it NOW and DON’T Resort to Looking in the Archives – Flowers – Garden – Raindrops – Flowers in the Rain (the song by 60’s group THE MOVE) – YouTube – Rain has Stopped – Go Outside with Camera. I do enjoy giving free rein to my train of thought and seeing where it will take me.  This time it took me out into the garden as soon as the rain had stopped. Before posting my photographs, I’m going to listen to The Move singing Flowers in the Rain. I’ve added the YouTube link at the end of this post. (For younger readers The Kaiser Chiefs brought out their version of the song in 2007.)          

Day-Flying Moths at Brockholes

I’ve been doing a lot of challenges recently and it’s something I hugely enjoy. What I’ve realised though is that I’ve been spending a lot of time digging into the archives for photographs to fit. And whilst this is something I enjoy too, I love to be outdoors DOING rather than indoors THINKING. Before I started blogging I used to give myself a weekly challenge and get out and about looking for suitable subjects to photograph. (There wouldn’t have been much point in issuing a challenge to myself just to go through my own photos for something to match it!) Today I decide to go to Brockholes Nature Reserve and photograph butterflies. Well, there weren’t many around as it wasn’t all that sunny. But I did see lots of damselflies and dragonflies, some beautiful birds and lots of day-flying moths. And so, for the first time in ages, I’m posting pictures on the same day they were taken. The dragonflies and damselflies photographs will need to wait until tomorrow…..      

Curvy Cow Horns and Caterpillars

Curvy Cow Horns and Caterpillars constitute my offering for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: Curve       

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