Tag Archives: Butterfly

Chrysalis of the Small Tortoishell Butterfly

Crysalis1

Im bubbling over with excitement as I have just discovered a chrysalis attached to our garden wall, of all the places to pick. We have acres of grassland plants, nettles, thistles and trees and it picks the side of the cottage we walk past everyday.

I have been trying to find some Chrysalis’s this year so I could capture a complete photo diary for you; but Im not sure how long this has been there. I feel its only been a few days as we would have noticed it. I have been looking for for weeks now for a Chrysalis to follow while I’ve been photographing the butterflies everyday, so Im super excited to finally find one.

As far as my NEW British Butterfly ID book (see my full review) can show me; it looks like a Small Tortoiseshell chrysalis. The large Tortoiseshell has a lighter smoother outer shell.

small-tortie

From dull brown dead leaf look to stunning oranges and yellows. I was so pleased with this image as he was really obliging letting me take a photo of him for my review, with the book right next to it.  But its a complete coincidence that I only just posted my review of this book today and actually needed to ID the chrysalis today lol.

Im really looking forward to this little guy emerging and hoping to capture a photographic diary of the complete metamorphosis.

This gorgeous Crysalis is so well camouflaged for woodland environment, how could you not think this is a curled dead leaf.

Crysalis4

This is only hanging from one small bead of silk, so I will be keeping a close eye to check it doesn’t get blown off as it doesn’t have the protection of any surrounding plants or hedges.

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The detailing and colouration is really gorgeous, it looks like some sort of alien Dragon hanging upsidown on the wall; its a stunning chrysalis.

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If you look closely you can see the colouration starting to appear within the chrysalis itself.

Ive been watching butterflies all my life and I’ve never got bored of this miracle of nature. Ive found a few Chrysalis ‘s but this will be the first time I have the opportunity to document it from my own garden. Fingers crossed and hopefully it will make it out into a stunning Small Tortie.

Coming soon on Natural Ramblings Dragonflies and horseflies and my first Butterflies inflight images, I’m so excited.

Thanks for popping by

XxX

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Friendly Bugs Live Wallpaper

I have been looking for an unusual live wallpaper for sometime, something thats natural and then I found this butterfly live wallpaper and was blown away with its beauty;  its one of the best ones Ive ever seen; I absolutely love this Friendly bugs app.

Bet your surprised I chose this one eh… 😉

I’m not really obsessed with butterflies honest, but this is really beautiful and oh so life-like! I know those of you that own a mobile or tablet or PC but also love butterflies like I do, will really enjoy this live wallpaper.

You dont need to be techie to enjoy this wallpaper, most of us have mobiles and tablets nowadays and it doesn’t have to be days-off and holidays to enjoy the natural world; take it with you wherever you go.

The makers Kittehface Software have made a fab job of animating these gorgeous butterflies that look so true to life.

Every image on this page is a screen shot taken on my Nexus 10 with its dazzling 2560 x1600 (300 ppi) display which makes this app even more stunning. The 4 million pixel screen makes the colours vivid and bright and the butterflies and ladybirds are sharp and just pop out from the screen.

The only way to show you how beautiful and realistic this app is, is for you to take a peek at my video below.

You really NEED to see this, its gorgeous!

Video on the Friendly Bugs Live Wallpaper. (2.50 mins)

The butterflies are actual species I’ve seen Swallowtail’s, Monarch’s, Peacock’s and many more. As well as Butterflies you have ladybirds too. Choose from having a few butterflies on your chosen background or choose “Invasion” mode where they fill the screen.

Settings 

As usual with the latest Live wallpapers around at this time there are alot of settings to play with to make it yours.

Backgrounds

This app allows you to change its background from the beautiful green of this sunlit leaf (above) which is my favourite; to some of the ones shown below.

 Driftwood.

 Patio Stone.

 Red Leaf.

 Dark Wood.

Others available are stone lichen and frosted glass these are the duller, darker ones, I prefer the ones above the best.

You also have the choice to add shadows which are overhead ferns seen here over these ladybirds, it makes it slightly darker but more natural.

I prefer the shadows off, so my leaf is a brighter green and you get the butterflies in full vivid colours like they would be in the sun.

Add your own Image background

An added bonus is the option to add your own image as the background, the butterflies will land on that instead, a neat idea! I used a photo of my dog and let them land on him…really novel.

Daydream Mode

It also works beautifully in the new  “Daydream Mode” on 4.2 devices which allows me to set this Live wallpaper while its charging, or in its dock, till its tapped then it resorts back to main screen.

Ladybirds

Another of the worlds cutest insects are the ladybirds alongside your Butterflies, who have their own settings where you can choose their colourations from natural, mixed or just red. The mixed colours is a nice touch where you will see purple, green and blue ladybirds, but being a nature lover I prefer true to life colours. You can then choose how many you have on the screen at one time, I prefer to have them all.

These little Ladybirds will also do the jitterbug if you tap the screen, they will shake their booty and jiggle in unison, its really cute; you can see this on my video.  

The butterflies however will be scared off but only for a few seconds!

Portrait Mode

Here are some screen shots in portrait mode too for those that want to see what it looks like for phones and those that prefer using your device in portrait mode!

My only niggle is that the butterflies don’t stay long enough on the screen for me to enjoy them enough. I wish there were just a few butterflies which stayed on the screen for at least a few minutes, whereas they simply land for several seconds and their off again.

 So can you tell I love this live wallpaper its fun and affordable to bring nature indoors, its de-stressing after a hard day and its so relaxing.

Opinion

I feel they gave this app the wrong name as its a stunning app and it should have been called something like Butterfly Bonanza or Butterfly Summer as Friendly bugs could be a complete turnoff for those that dont like insects! I know for a fact more people would buy this app if they knew it was just butterflies and ladybirds; not beetles, spiders or other crawlies!

It whisks me back to long hot summer days, the feel of the gentle breeze and the sun on your face with soft bird song in the background and the rustle of trees! Are you feeling it yet….? 

I adore this app, if you have a larger 8-10 inch screen tablet this is where this App really comes into its own but its still beautiful enough to get similar effect on your phone.  Even though I feel its aimed at the ladies, its a stunning app for any keen Lapidopterist (Butterfly enthusiast) as the butterflies are actual species.

If you’ve had a stressful day, turn it on and sit back with a coffee and let them flutter across your screen, for fun tap the screen and watch the ladybirds jiggle in unison. Its a beautifully relaxing affordable app at only 69p its worth every penny!

Summary

Updated – February 20th 2013,

Current Version is 2.15,

Requires android 2.1 and up,

Size 4.1MB,

Pro’s

Natural,

Believable,

Colourful,

Vivid colours,

Updated regularly,

Con’s

I would like to see a few butterflies sit still just for a minute or two, to really see how gorgeous they look.

So if you love watching butterflies head over to Google Play and grab your App for only

69p

You can also try the Lite version too for free to see how you like it, you cant go wrong; give it a go let me know what you think and thanks for popping by.

The BIG Butterfly Count 2013

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

You can do your bit to help with conservation over the weekend.

There are around 60 species of butterfly and 2,500 species of moths in the UK, with more establishing every decade following migration from continental Europe. They are found from the shoreline to mountain top, and occur in a wide variety of habitats. Their caterpillars feed mainly on plants, but some moth species feed on roots, lichens and algae as well as other substances such wood and fur. Many species depend on a narrow range of plants or food types for their survival.

Butterflies and moths are one of the most threatened groups of wildlife. In the last 100 years, nearly 70 species have become extinct (4 butterflies and 65 moths). Our recording programmes show that around two-thirds of species are declining and over 170 species are threatened and listed as Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

Save our butterflies, moths and the environment by just taking 10-15 minutes of your time, enjoy the sunshine, get the kids involved to see how many butterflies and moths you can find in your garden or surrounding area or parklands.

Jot down your findings and nip to

Butterfly Conservation website.

 
Joanna Lumley
Take Part

Big Butterfly Count 2013

The Big Butterfly Count will be absolutely fabulous this year with the help of Joanna Lumley. The ‘Ab Fab’ actress, a Marks & Spencer Sustainability Champion, is urging everyone who loves nature to spare 15 minutes to take part in the Count.

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Download The App

New this year is a free smartphone app for Big Butterfly Count. Now you can carry out and submit your Count all in one go while out and about watching butterflies. Now available for iOS and coming soon for Android.

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David Atten

Read The Blog

Attenborough – “Get Out For The Count”

Butterfly Conservation President Sir David Attenborough is urging all wildlife lovers to help take the pulse of UK nature by taking part in the Big Butterfly Count this summer.

Painted

Enter Your Photos

Make Your Camera Count

Take a camera on your Count and you could win the first ever Big Butterfly Count photo competition. They are looking for great butterfly images taken on a camera or mobile phone. You can enter as many times as you like but photos must be of Count species.

ID Butterfly A-Z

Need some help with Identification

Small skipper

Small skipper

Check out this page with clear colourful images

Quick drop down colour charts to help you quickly identify your beautiful finds.

Do you want to make a permanent difference then take advantage of half price membership celebrating the first Butterfly Count!

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Please join today, using the promotion code BBC50 to benefit from the half price offer.

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

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.

red-admiral5

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.

comma-two-on-post

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;

eyes

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.

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