Category Archives: Macro

Britains Butterflies by David Newland and Robert Still – Book Review

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Britains Butterflies

A field guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Ireland

By David Newland and Robert Still with David Tomlinson and Andy Swash

Those that know me know I have a passion for wildlife and especially the bug kind, with a love of Butterflies, Bees and Dragonflies. I have been taking butterfly photos for many years and its almost an addiction for me to capture as many photos as possible and this year has been the best yet with literally hundreds of butterflies visiting my garden, its been really special. But of course I have really needed a good ID guide to make sure I ID my butterflies correctly.

I was lucky enough to receive the second edition of Britains Butterflies one of the Wild Guides series for this review; from the lovely people of  Princeton University press

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I have collected a few ID books over the years and I have been using these to ID all my photography. I also have several butterfly ID books but nothing compares to Britain’s Butterflies which is a completely revised second edition covering the ID of all 59 species that currently breed, 4 former breeders, 9 rare immigrants and 1 species of unknown status.

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 Britains Dragonflies (review coming soon)

I have one other book from the Wild guide series and that’s also brilliant, both guides offer stunning well detailed and well composed images taken by obviously brilliant photographers.

Front and back

British Butterflies has to be one of the BEST Butterfly ID books I have seen. This gorgeous book takes you through Butterfly biology and life-cycle with easy to read and understand diagrams and photos. Explanations of hibernation, migration, plus a thorough introduction to finding British butterfly habitats showing named areas in Britain to travel to see certain species. A real plus for me who enjoys nothing but looking and photographing these beautiful insects.

I have to stress this isn’t just an ID book its a fascinating insight to the complete life of a butterfly, showing how each species can be quite different in so many ways to the next, this really is a fascinating read for those of us who love these stunning insects.

 This book is so beautifully put together and you can clearly see the work and effort involved, the Author David Newland has spent since 2003 trying to photograph every species of butterfly in Britain and he has achieved this and more; including some unusual aberrations and rare species to form the most informative and user friendly field guide Ive seen yet.

description-pages

The ID section on each species of British butterfly is extremely comprehensive showing

  • Adult ID and special markings a detailed explanation of both male and female forms,
  • Behaviour – where relevant,
  • Breeding habitat – Summary of habitat preferences,
  • Population and Conservation – where to find that species and/or if they need conservation,
  • Egg, caterpillar and chrysalis – Brief description and measurements of each stage.

This is on the left side of the page, the opposite page has stunning images to show you male and female forms plus different colourations, wings open and closed. So many books don’t show you both, most butterflies look completely different depending on wings open or closed. The book clearly shows the differences. Its just beautiful to flick through for those that just want to ID your butterfly as well as those like me who want to know all about that species.

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I couldnt resist adding my own image of this Small Tortoiseshell on my Budlea over the accompanying page of the book. It was a real chance shot.

Not photoshopped, that would have been easier 😉

Something that has been missing from most of my butterfly books is caterpillar ID’s so when I found there were not just the caterpillars, but the eggs…and….the Chrysalis’s too this made my day.

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 Detailed Chrysalis pages.

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There is also another section just on which food plants both butterfly and caterpillar enjoy so you can not only go out and try and find them; but grow the plants in your garden to attract them for next year.

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 I couldn’t resist trying to get the butterfly near the page, this little guy was quite obliging.

Opinion

There are so many butterfly books on the market but this has to be THE best book on British butterflies you can get in my opinion. You not only get to ID your butterfly with excellent clear images, but you get to learn about it with easy to understand well composed pages and chapters. There are some computer generated images to show the species in a better background but even these have been seamlessly done. From beginner to advanced if you love butterflies what are you waiting for, you need this book and Im sure anyone will really appreciate and enjoy the amount of information on each species.

I have used or looked at this book everyday since receiving this it; I love it as I really appreciate the work that goes into capturing these little guys on camera being a wildlife photographer myself, they are generally quite camera shy.

There are 558 stunning colour photos within this comprehensive guide but for me it was not only the gorgeous images of the butterflies but the detailed info on the eggs, caterpillars and chrysalis’s that makes this guide stand way above the rest.

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This gorgeous guide will be a perfect gift for the budding wildlife photographer or butterfly lover because of the depth of information. With extra information on where to go to watch or photograph certain species throughout the UK this book is light enough to take anywhere. It has excellent quality glossy pages and I was really surprised to find it has a heavy duty plastic sleeve; perfect for being out and about. Wow what a fantastic book, this is what I’ve been after for years!!!

All you could want in one beautifully photographed affordable guide book.

About the Author

David Newland has been a butterfly enthusiast since boyhood. He is the author of WILD Guides “Discover Butterflies” in Britain. Robert Still is WILD Guides publishing director. A qualified ecologist, he spends his time designing books and leaflets to publicize the natural world. When time allows, he travels the world in search of butterflies, cetaceans, and birds.

Published 2010

ISBN 9781903657300

224 pages,

558 colour photos,

 Get your own copy of Britains Butterflies

By David Newland and Robert Still

Amazon

£12.21

Help save the butterflies, moths and the environment!

Buying this book supports The Butterfly Conservation

All my thanks goes to Princeton press for sending me this gorgeous book for this review.

All my opinions and views are my own.

XxX

 Natural History Book Reviews coming soon

Another from the same Authors

Published September 2013

 Britains day Flying Authors

Plus book reviews from my own library.

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My Mothberry?

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I haven’t had a great year for strawberries this year, to be honest I hadnt tended to them as well as I did last year, so its probably my fault we havent had ANY yet…..!!!

I went over to check them this afternoon to find a large moth sucking happily away on the biggest strawberry I have…it was fine yesterday and I was planning to whip it off as a secret nibble, so that justice to me….lol 😉

But I couldnt help but grab a few shots with my little Panasonic Lumix TZ30. My Canon gear was all packed in bag and I didnt know how long he would stay for. But I neednt have worried as this little guy was absolutely oblivious to me shuffling next to it trying to get the the best position.

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It was tough to get any shots as it was right in amongst the leaves and I couldnt get any piks of what he looked like on top….or…er…behind him…as…his hanging underneath; so Ive no idea what species he is. I will get back to you on his ID tomorrow.

I feel he maybe one of the Thorn family, a common rustic or an old lady, but Id gladly accpet some ID ideas if anyone knows what he is?

I am always amazed by this little camera on macro mode, the detail is gorgeous.

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I love his beautiful orange antennae you can see on the left in this image.

You could actually see his body gently swinging as he was sucking away at the juice, in a way quite comical to watch, I could have been one of the Wrens who are nesting right above him or one of 2 sets of Blue tit parents collecting food continually through the day.

But oh..no…he had to have his strawberry juice….sheeesh…great last meal though…what a way to go!!

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I tried this shot without flash and its come out more natural, but has less detail, see what you prefer, I thought Id add it to show you.

I had to laugh as I went back tonight after dark to see if he was still there and gently lifted the lweaves to see, only to jump as 2 black legs waved at me. A harvest spider was sitting directly ontop and I just hadnt seen it…jeeze what is it with strawberries today!

So Im guessing Im not going to get this strawberry this year!! But how could I begrudge such a tasty looking morsel to my beloved wildlife.

I will get back to you on the ID when I can, but if any of you know what he is by his underneath colouration or that gorgeous bright orange antennae, please let me know.

Coming soon on Natural Ramblings NEW Natural History Book reviews

Thanks for coming by

XxX

Blue tits and Butterflies

Well as you can see I do like my butterflies, but it wasnt planned to have butterflies on almost every post on Natural Ramblings; its just what Ive been able to capture over the last week or more.

All my 6 Buddleia bushes are almost in full bloom and thank goodness they are all staggered; meaning my beloved bugs get to have food and supplies for a bit longer.

Well as I mentioned weve had some gorgeous hot weather over the past few weeks up until the last few days when weve had some heavy storms and sadly some of the butterflies are looking a bit worse for wear.

These delicate insects struggle enough to get from catapillar to butterfly especially in my garden with approximately 8 great tit and blue tit fledgelings, Ive been watching the poor parents run ragged with mouthfuls of caterpillas…eeep, I cant even find these caterpillas to phptograph….I need to follow those parents with my camera 🙂

A few photos I managed to capture of my Bluetit fledglings, I had to smile at how chubby he is compared to Mum and Dad and his 2 siblings seen either side. Is it just me or does he remind you of Orville..”I wish I could fly”

(Please click for larger images)

So with loads of chicks to feed my sudden butterfly explosion is dwindling as I type, but how can I choose who I would rather live, I adore my birds and insects, it has to be a balance with nature and you can never choose. But I still have a sad fleeting moment when I see a mouthful of wriggling caterpillars being stuffed into that gaping mouth. But then an immediate aww his gonna be a chubby one when you see his cute yellow fluffy face.

(Please click for larger more detailed images)

Back to our bad storms we had a few days ago I was photographing the butterflies and found this poor ragged Tortoishell buttefly feeding…yes you guessed it…on my Buddliea… 🙂

The fascinating thing was about this injured Tortie was that as I watched him I started to notice the many Comma butterflies bombard the poor thing knocking him clean off the flower sprigs. They were either being territorial or they sensed a weaker butterfly. I had to flap so hard to get back up onto another flower but within seconds to be knocked off agaon. It took all my will power not to protect him. I had to watch painfully as he struggled to fly to his next flower…Sadly I feel he wont be with us much longer.

The Tortoishell Butterfly Nymphalis urticae is another popular UK butterfly with its distinct mosaic effect colouration and beautiful blue spots around the edging of its wings. If you want to attract this gorgeous bug to your garden, you should not only grow Buddleia and Sedum spectibile but let the nettles grow nearby as they larvae need their food too. Dont clear away all your nettles its a the larval foodplant of many butteflies and insects.

Comma Butterfly on Buddleia

Comma Butterfly on Buddleia

This is one of the evil culprits as beautiful as they are!

Take some time out in your day…to just watch…its great theraputic value for you to lose yourself and you get to see some fascinating things; you are always learning with wildlife however large or small.

Coming soon on Natural Ramblings more Bees, hatching ladybirds and Swallow fledglings….maybe a few more butterflies.

Thanks for coming by

XxX

The Wimberly Plamp Review

The Wimberley Plamp

The Wimberley Plamp

The Plamp
What is a Plamp…well sounds like a plumber’s tool for unblocking drains and it looks at first glance a black bendy snake with a bird skull-like head and a forked tail ….or is that just me and my over active imagination?As a photographer have you often needed another pair of hands?
Picture the scene…sorry no pun intended lol!
You are all prepared, you have your camera on a tripod with a macro lens on to photograph that gorgeous flower, but the wind is blowing a hooley knocking the plant backwards and forwards. Your trying to look through the lens, hold the flower steady at the same time as trying to hold that that annoying branch out the way without disturbing anything else. You really wish you had another pair of hands!!
WELL finally there is a way to stabilise those aggravating windblown subjects that is the bane of every macro photographers life!
The Plamp is an easily positionable arm which can be used to hold macro subjects and other useful objects. One end of the Plamp clamps to your tripod while the other grasps the object. The Plamp is a must for any macro enthusiast!

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My Plamp has been my flexible friend for approximately 10 years, its permanently attached to my tripod and I never go out without it. Its one of my most used camera gadgets as you will see from my photos that its very well worn but still going strong.

So what does it do?

Use your Plamp to:

  • Stabilise windblown subjects.
  • Adjust the position or angle of your subject.
  • Move background objects and obstructing foliage.
  • Hold reflectors, graduated filters, and lens shades.
segments
Description
This 22 inch/ 56cm long piece of black plastic is one of those designs you’d wish you had thought of, its such a simple idea and the clamps are genius! It is made of LOC-LINE ball-and-socket segmented tubing. To position the arm, simply bend it to the desired position and let go and it will hold the subject still.
Its super light at only 140grams.
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The Plamp has a really heavy duty workman’s clamp one end, like the kind found in a tool box.
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The Plamp is designed to attach to your own tripod; but it is often handy to attach it to a second tripod so that you are free to move your tripod around without affecting the subject.
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The large jaws swivel slightly and can be attached to anything that will fit in its spring loaded jaws.
 This includes nearly every tripod on the market with a diameter between 0.9 and 1.4 inches (23-35mm), tree branches, furniture, stakes driven into the ground, vegetation, etc.
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  At the other end is the brilliantly designed clamp and this is what makes the Plamp…what it is.
 The white plastic clamp with one large hole one side and then two smaller ones of a slightly different size, will fit most sized stems.
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The jaws open by applying pressure to the larger hole side, this will open the jaws enough to gently slide in your subject; before letting go and the clamp will gently grip a flower stem. If you think its going to grip too hard; I usually wrap the stem in tissue or paper for extra protection.
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Ive found with the choice of of hole size, one of them has fitted almost every flower Ive ever photographed without damage. This is a rose stem and they tend to be very soft and its completely undamaged.
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 The larger hole is genius as you simply slip it over a few delicate plant stems that couldn’t take pressure from the clamp gaps. You simply feed the stems through the hole like a giant needle eg; some lanky sweet peas or in my case these tall alium stems, so it holds them inplace, without crushing or breaking them.
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Perfect for just slightly windy days or simply to keep something upright as mine here are too floppy at this stage to stand up straight.
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Another great idea is that Wimberley have made the whole clamp swivel 360 degrees; so you can also angle your subject or make small adjustments to align it to where you want to focus.

In the field

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Out in the countryside I always try to leave nature as undisturbed as possible. I will NEVER break branches off or even worse pull up the wild flowers for a photo; this to me is unacceptable. Its ok in your own garden of course that’s your choice.
The Plamp makes it easy just to hold distracting branches or other foliage out of shot undamaged.
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 Here is my cherry blossom with quite a few dead branches in the way, so the Plamp holds them back for me to photograph some blossom buds.
As you know the best flowers and insects are always hidden behind branches and stinging nettles don’t you…or is that just me. I swear they see me coming and dive behind the most awkward tree or bush to get through.
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 The swivel head allows you to angle your subject; for example here I didnt want the cluttered brick background behind my rose; so I gently angled and pulled it forwards using the Plamp, so I had more greenery instead for a nicer bokeh. I was then able to shoot from the side for a far better shot.
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Another ways to use the Plamp is to move “the actual subject” to better light or background.
(As I mentioned before never pick wild flowers, leave the countryside as you found it).
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 For example I wanted some photos of the leaves on this Bracken frond unfurling against a darker background to show up better. So I was now able to simply move my tripod to another part of the garden.
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 This was one of my final shots which I couldn’t have got without my Plamp.
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 More shots of another flower that I wanted more light and better background for. It fitted securely in the clamp hole.
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 Even with the Plamp I struggled as it was blowing a hooley this day, but I still managed to get some nice shots by being able to move my tripod around and finding shelter against the wind.

An extra hand!

We are not all fortunate enough to have a willing victim…er…assistant with you to hold reflectors or extra flashes. So I also use my Plamp to hold a reflector to add that extra light on my subject. It can attach to your main tripod or you can clamp it to a spare tripod as your robotic assistant.
Or extend your imagination to hold a different coloured backgrounds behind a plant. It may not be possible to cut the flower and take it home to your studio; so all you need is some pre-cut coloured card to let your artistic imagination flow.TIP; try to use as short an arm as possible for a more secure hold.
Tips from Wimberley

 If you need more reach or if you are using a 180mm or 200mm macro lens, you have 3 options.
  • Attach the Plamp to an object other than your own tripod,
  • Extend one of the legs towards your subject and than attach the Plamp further down the leg, thus closer to the subject,
  • Extend the length of your Plamp with the 12″ Plamp extension; but in doing so the Plamp becomes a bit less rigid. 

Shortening your Plamp
The segmented arm of your Plamp is approximately 19″ long. If you do not need all this length, you can shorten your Plamp. To shorten the arm, bend the arm sharply until it snaps in two (do not worry, you cant hurt the Plamp), remove a length and reconnect the pieces.
They are hard however to pull apart and get back together. So for me it would have to be the possibility of an outstanding shot to go through the effort to shorten it.

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Opinion
This Plamp really has been my flexible friend for so many years now especially with macro photography, as you know you only need a slight breeze at the wrong second to lose a shot or your bug to fly off.
The main clamp really is heavy duty it almost stops your blood circulation in my finger so its not going to ping-off or be too weak to grip. The plastic segments are fairly smooth and move easily into any position.
It perfectly adjusts your subjects angle or position without damage, so you can use a slow enough shutter speed to get that gorgeous bokeh.
There are not many products I say people NEED but every photographer will NEED one of these at some point especially if you are planning to go into Macro photography. Its light to carry, affordable and compact and easy to roll up to store in your camera bag, it looks like you have your pet snake curled up at the bottom of your bag lol.
I cannot be without mine and would have to replace it immediately if it broke, but this camera gadget is bomb proof…OK I haven’t had the opportunity to blow it up, but really I’ve thrown this around, trodden on it many times, sat on it, its rattled around in my bag, dragged around attached to my main tripod. Its scratched a little dented but still works like the day first I first got it.
Its amazing how many times Ive just clamped something to it, needing that extra hand; its truly a photographers flexible friend.
One day using this you will love it forever especially, when you see your own photographic results.
You can buy your Wimberley Plamp from many camera stores in the UK and US but you need to look around for the best deals.
£32.50
This version has a slightly different head to mine as its over 10 years old
You can also buy Wimberley PP-110 Plamp 12″ extension for those using longer 180mm 200mm macro lenses.
Here are just a few of my published images that I managed to get using my Plamp.

Butterfly Diaries #1

Peacock Portrait

Peacock Butterfly Inachis io on Buddleia

This is the first post of my new set of photos, I’m at my happiest when I’m outside photographing and I want to share with you the amazing mix of insects I have in the garden and surrounding fields. All of sudden in the last few week we have had gorgeous hot sunny weather and of course this has brought out all the bugs.  Ive had the camera almost permanently glued to my hand everyday for the last few weeks and and managed to capture so many different kinds  of insect and now I cant wait to get out every day; its an addiction.

So this is part one of a regular series of The Butterfly (and moth) Diaries which will be followed by the Bee diaries.

Its been such a fantastic few days of hot, hot, hot weather and in one day, actually in one hour I managed to find over 8 species of butterfly. The Peacock, Red Admiral, The Comma, Tortoishell, Frittilary, Large and small white and a skipper. It may have something to do with my 8 foot high Buddliea bushes mind you and wonderful scented butterfly attraction. I have to say too I wish I could add bloggascent to this post as it smells absolutely amazing outside right now. Even as Im typing the Buddliea scent is wafting in through my window, no wonder the insects love it.

Red Admiral on tree stump

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta on old tree stump.

This Red admiral was just stunning, his orange markings almost glowed in the late sunlight

Red Admiral on Buddleia

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta on Buddleia about to take off.

Red Admirals are one of the nations favourites here in the UK with its bold colours and distinctive markings and of course one of the larger butterflies we have. As a photographer I find them easier as they are not so flighty as the smaller ones, which you can end up following round for hours. This little guy was quite happy for me to photograph him.

Interesting Fact; Red Admirals can be found lapping at fallen apples during the Autumn in search of food.

Red Admiral closed wing

Red Admiral closed wing

The Red Admiral has the most stunning outer wing colouration yet once closed its has the most amazing camouflage with its tell tale pink and blue flash and raggedy leaf effect.

Detailed Red Admiral underwing

Detailed Red Admiral underwing

This colouration almost looks tatty and faded and can easily be missed when sitting in a tree or bush.

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The pink and blue flash really shows up here, yet nowhere to be seen on the main wing colouration, nature really is beautiful.

Red Admiral cute face

Red Admiral cute face

I had to include this shot as I loved the detailing on its face, butterfly eyes are just gorgeous with its spotted patterning.

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Comma Nymphalis c-album (Nymphaidae)

Another easily recognisable butterfly is the bright orange and raggedy edges on the wings of the Comma Nymphalis c-album (Nymphaidae) making it quite unusual.

I loved that these two were sunning themselves on one of our fence posts, they stayed here for hours enjoying e warmth.

Comma and Peacock butterflies sharing the Buddleia

This was so lovely to see two species so close as generally as soon as wings touch they are off, these two sat for a good ten minutes working their way round each tiny Buddleia flower, enjoying the warmth of the sun.

Comma underwing

The distinctive white Comma on the dark brown underwing that gives this butterfly its name.

I wanted to show you this image in more detail as it has the most gorgeous dried deaf leaf effect underwing, this camouflage is just amazing. Behavior-wise you can even see it arches its head to follow the clean curve shape of a leaf.

Comma V-wingI loved the striking orange of the Comma against the background bright green bracken.

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeus (lycaenidae)

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeus (lycaenidae)

One of my more exciting finds was this adorable Small Copper, its orange colouration is stunning as it flutters around the garden. Behaviour-wise I saw it knocking other butterflies off the flowers, as they are extremely territorial; despite being so small. It actually dive-bombed a Peacock just minding its own bushiness on my Buddleia. knocking it clean off the bush.

Small White Pieris rapae (Piridae)

Small White Pieris rapae (Piridae)

One of Europes if the worlds most common small butterfly the Small white, sadly the lava is a pest of cultivated plants belonging to the cabbage family and can cause alot of damage in vegetable gardens and fields; but in contrast is much loved and welcomed in most cottage garden borders . You cant miss this adorable bright white butterfly as its flits from flower to flower and you know when Summer is here when you see these little guys around.

This one in particular has quite a split in its wing at the base, but it certainly didnt effect its flying ability, fingers crossed it wont get caught in the storms tonight.

Isn’t it typical we fight to get these gorgeous insects into Summer by wishing for great weather, growing the right plants for them. We sigh with relief to get amazing sunny hot weather for weeks so they can breed, they just hatch and then we have torrential storms, so I’m suspecting we will be losing alot again.

Fingers crossed for continuing good weather.

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Coming next is my Bee Diaries and many more Butterfly images.

Thanks for stopping by.

XxX

The Peacock Butterfly – Is it a predator or a dead leaf?

I am lucky to have a garden with over 6 huge Budleia bushes and every year these attract the most stunning butterflies. I dont know why Im surprised when I stand in awe at the array of species we can have on just one of the bushes.

But one of the most common butterflies is the Peacock Butterfly Aglais io.

I have spent many happy hour absolutely lost in taking photo after photo of these stunning insects. This mini gallery is just a few of my favorite ones I have captured, the wing in particular is just beautiful, but being ever finiky with my own work I just wished he could have moved a bit nore into the sun just for a second 😉

The Peacock is a fascinating butterfly and is one of the UK’s larger species and most easily recognised. Its wingspan is approx 63-69mm wide and can be found all over the UK. Its laval foodplant is the common nettle.

But its known for its spectacular wing markings;

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Opened up to reveal its true beauty you have 2 big blue eyes looking at you like a adorable mammal eyes, in its hope to deter any predator making him the next meal. Not all butterflies have them as dramatic as this, each one is different.

When the wings are closed it goes from stunning beauty to a dark brown tatty wrinkled leaf in seconds, only nature is this genius.

So I have added a few of my favourite photos to show you and Ill adding more soon.

Thanks for coming by.

X

Bee Inspired

Hey

What Ya Doing?

Those that know me will know I have a real soft spot for bees and never been one of those running off screaming when they hear a buzz….a human that big against a small inch long bee…please…!

Its people ignorance that they then go round killing them like it was their duty. I have spent all my life so far; trying to educate people that these insects are kind and gentle and just need respect like we all do; show agression they will defind themselves and their hives like we would defind our family.

If I can help change peoples mind and let them see the beauty of these amazing little creatures through my photography then Im a happy bunny.

Its often common to find little pots in our home containing a bee or two that has been injured or caught in a web, with a little lid of sugarwater…I know Im mad you dont need to tell me. I then release them next day. Even the garden contains plants for wildlife as I try to do my bit for the environment. The little guys have it tough so its the least we can do.

I will be writing some gardening plant idea posts soon too; as I get to my enjoyment from watching different of species come and go from the garden and hopefully get a few photos too. I would love to hear what plants your wildlife prefer too.

Are we losing our bees forever?

On another subject more serious is the fact we are losing these amazing insects and sadly Ive been noticing it too; we have found over 8 bees dead in the last week. It maybe the heat but Ive also noticed some strange behavior from them.

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Male Bombus Sylvestris

This little guy is clearly ill, his antennae are down and is clinging tightly but weakly to my blueberry bush. Just to confirm its not me terrorising them, I used my Canon 100mm lens so it was taken from a distance not to stress him.

They are extremely agitated and have an almost trembling movement as they collect their pollen. I have sent off some emails and waiting for an answer that I can let you know too.

But for now here are some photos I took this week.  A really curious bee made me smile by peering over the top of my lavender petals……its the little things…that make me happy.

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Of course it was a mad dash inside to grab my camera and hope he was still there when I got back and he was…PHEWY!

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Bombus Lapidarius

This little guy was in my greenhouse so I wasnt entirely happy with my lighting here. He was a quick grabshot as he only gave me seconds to take the pik.

Common in the south of the UK, where they emerge in Spring and usually nest below the surface of the ground or under objects. They live near gardens, farmland, woodland glades, grasslands and heathland throughout Britain.

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Bombus Sylvestris

I think this is a Male as it had a complete white abdomen, with a yellow tip. Also known as the Four-coloured Cuckoo bee which is widespread in the UK. He made me smile too as he outright refused to look at me, craning his head away.

Was it something I said..? 😉