I like to give things names …

I like to find the names of things. I’m not usually satisfied to title a photo ‘blue flower’ or ‘some kind of insect’. I like names. Sometimes it takes me ages to figure out what something is called, scouring various websites trying to match my plant or creature to one described.

Here are some of the things I’ve had to find names for over the last year. Most of them are things that were new to me this year, or if I’d seem them before I hadn’t found out what they were called. It’s always surprising that even though I generally stick to visiting the same areas again and again, I can still find something new!

By the way if you think any of my IDs are incorrect, please let me know – I’m always learning 🙂

Turkeytail Fungus (Trametes versicolor)
Turkeytail Fungus (Trametes versicolor)
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Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea)
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Candlesnuff Fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon)
Ruby Tiger moth caterpillar
Ruby Tiger moth caterpillar
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Black Darter dragonfly (female)
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Black Darter dragonfly (male)
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Emerald Damselfly (male)
Sand Wasp
Sand Wasp
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Pale Toadflax (Linaria repens)
Golden-ringed Dragonfly
Golden-ringed Dragonfly
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Silver Y Moth (brown colour form) – Autographa gamma
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Buff Footman Moth

 

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Silver-ground Carpet (Xanthorhoe montanata)
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Bumblebee-mimicking Hoverfly (Volucella bombylans)
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Lacewing
Six-Spot Burnet Moth caterpillar
Six-Spot Burnet Moth caterpillar

 

4-spotted Chaser
4-spotted Chaser dragonfly
Green Hairstreak butterfly - Callophrys rubi
Green Hairstreak butterfly – Callophrys rubi
Green Tiger Beetle
Green Tiger Beetle
Bogbean
Bogbean
Thistle Tortoise Beetle - Cassida rubiginosa
Thistle Tortoise Beetle – Cassida rubiginosa
Yellow Ophion
Yellow Ophion

If you find yourself trying to identify a plant or creature, here are some really useful websites to help you. These are only relevant if you’re in the UK. I’m sure there are equivalent websites elsewhere though.

This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Names. I went a little off topic as it said:

This week, share a photo that includes a name… Whatever you choose, make sure we can read the name!

No actual names visible in my photos I’m afraid, but they do have names 🙂

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Butterflies are back

Hurrah for butterflies! I did spot one fluttering past me on a warm day a few weeks back but since then nothing until last weekend when I spotted this Small Tortoiseshell in the garden:

In case you are wondering, he’s decided to land on the remains of an old bonfire, giving a rather unusual backdrop.

This weekend I spotted 2 Peacock butterflies. A rather tatty looking one and one that was a bit better dressed.

Looking forward to many more butterflies to come 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Gone but not forgotten

I miss butterflies! they’re all gone for another year and we won’t be seeing them again for a few months. They are gone, but not forgotten…

Here are some of my favourites:

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Small Tortoiseshell
Common Blue
Common Blue
Brimstone
Brimstone
Small Blue (sadly tattered)
Small Blue (sadly tattered)
Speckled Wood
Speckled Wood
Peacock
Peacock
Green-Veined White
Green-Veined White
Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper
Small Skipper on Meadow Vetchling
Small Skipper
Common Blue Butterfly
Common Blue
Small Copper Butterfly with blurred Ragwort
Small Copper
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Painted Lady

For the Weekly Photo Challenge: Gone but not forgotten

Last Butterflies

As it is turning autumnal I expect to be seeing fewer and fewer butterflies, so I thought I’d post a few of those I’ve seen recently.

From a couple of weeks ago, this is the one and only shot I’ve had of a Small Copper this year. It’s not great, but as it was the only one I’ve seen, I’m not too fussed by the quality!

Then there was this Comma butterfly, again the only one I’d seen in our garden this year (although I saw another one down in Bristol):

Last weekend, on one of my first ventures out after being ill, I spotted this Red Admiral enjoying the ivy:

And finally one from yesterday! A Small White:

Butterfly faces

Sometimes I can’t decide what to focus on, when it comes to butterflies… their faces or their wings. I often can’t do both as my depth of field is shallow. Traditionally it would be all about their wings as that is the part of them that is most noticeable and pretty, but I do like to try and get a good foucus on their faces so you can see them looking back at you.

Speckled Wood
Speckled Wood
Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper
Green-veined White
Green-veined White

Angles of Tortoiseshell

On Sunday we saw the beginnings of the flurry of visitors to our Buddleias. It was mostly Small Tortoiseshells with an occasional White and Ringlet. As the Tortoiseshells were feeding on the Buddleia I took shots from various angles.

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Head on, this Tortoishell looks very serious, focused on drinking nectar with its long proboscis.
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From the side, this Tortoiseshell looks very fluffy, almost like a cuddly teddy with wings!
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From this angle the Tortoishell is like a walking stained-glass window with the light shining thorough its wings

Hopefully there will be many more butterflies to come for us to enjoy 🙂

Long Sunday Walk

Today I went on an unexpectedly long walk. I decided to go up the hill as I hadn’t walked that way for a while, then I ended up walking back through the woods, then off for long wander through the fields on the hill, and back round to the bottom of the village in a big loop. My leg hasn’t quite forgiven me yet, but it was lovely up there in the sunshine 🙂

At the top of the village, there are tons of Primroses now:

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Also there was a big spread of Speedwell looking lovely so I got down low so you can see how it carpeted the ground:

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As I was strolling up the hill I spotted an insect on a Dandelion. I think it was a Leafcutter Bee – it definitely looked bee-like but it was very much smaller than honey bees. I love how it was so covered in pollen!

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There wasn’t much to photograph through the woods, but it was a nice walk between all the trees. When I reached the edge of the woods I was going to go back home, but decided instead to head out onto the hillside. It was lovely and sunny and I could hear birds all around. I saw a Buzzard, Red Kites, Jays, Robins & Chaffinches, but the most interesting birds were the Meadow Pipits – there were lots of them around, but they were quite skittish so I didn’t get any good shots – just a few fairly rubbish ones! This one was my best effort:

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Some of the sheep up there were sleeping on the path, and though I would have walked quietly round them, they preferred to get up and move. Some were rather grumpy about this. These two stood and stared at me rather belligerently for a while before moving away:

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However this lovely lady was quite keen to have her photo taken, and posed beautifully for me:

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I spotted a lovely bunch of Larch trees (wasn’t sure what they were, but have googled!):

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On the way back towards home I was chasing butterflies! There were quite a lot of Small Tortoiseshells fluttering all over the place in pairs. They seemed to be feeling a tad frisky 🙂 It was hard work getting a shot but I managed a couple

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This one was behaving a little more sedately and just getting on with drinking nectar, allowing me to get a little closer:

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I saw a couple of Peacock butterflies out too, but it was mainly the tortoiseshells.

To finish off – here’s a view from up on the hill. I only had my macro lens with me as I hadn’t really intended on going up there, or I’d have a nice wide-angle shot, but this is not bad really:

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Now I’m up to date on all my walks 🙂 Hope you’ve enjoyed my catch up.

Butterfly Sketch

I felt like being creative today so I decided to do a bit of sketching. This is a painted lady butterfly that I took a photo of recently. I haven’t sketched for a while so I was a bit nervous when I started, thinking it would turn out rubbish, but actually it’s not bad … so you get to see it!

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New Butterflies!

It’s been a week since I’ve had a chance to taken any new photos, so today I strolled out into the garden to see what there was out there … and I had a great surprise! In addition to the regular butterflies (Peacock, Red Admiral, Tortoiseshell, Large White, Green-Veined White & Small Copper) there were 2 new visitors that I’d never seen in the garden before! I was very excited and set to work trying to get some good shots. Maybe I should video the action on the Buddleia one of these days as you just see individual photos of butterflies. What is really going on out there is amazing: there are butterflies everywhere, drinking nectar on nearly every flower spike of and there’s constant fluttering of butterflies moving around all around you!

Anyway, the new visitors! I bring you the Painted Lady and the Comma …

Painted Lady Butterfly

Comma Butterfly

The last time I saw a Comma Butterfly was my first time … and it was hidden away in my parents’ greenhouse back at Christmas time – it looked like a dead leaf. I’d never actually seen (for real) what the top of its wings looked like until today. It really is a lovely little butterfly.

evening in the garden

edit-5813purple flower spikes
less busy now
as evening comes
and here I sit
with tea
and camera
(just in case)

no butterflies left
they’ve gone to bed
(where do they sleep?)

but still the swallows
chitter by
the out-late bees
hum-bumble low
and early moths
flutter

time slows
to a honeyed trickle
in our wild garden

Small Copper

Yesterday the afternoon/evening was bright and sunny and the butterflies were out in force in the garden. There were Peacocks, Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals, Large Whites and Green-Veined Whites all over the Buddleia. But another small butterfly caught my eye on the Ragwort – a Small Copper Butterfly which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. It was very pretty and looked lovely in the sunshine.

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Flutterings

Another quick potter round the garden after getting home from work today. Sadly my head started to really ache soon after so I’ve only just got round to blogging them now it’s eased. I was chasing butterflies on the Buddleia, and got these few shots. Not all that great, but I was pleased to capture them at all. The Buddleia is mainly flowering at the top of tall stalks which are a bit too high up to get good shots when butterflies land on them – hence the odd angles of the first 2 shots. The Whites were landing on lower flowers, so I got better shots of them.

Not the best shot of a Peacock Butterfly but the best I could do in the circumstances
Not the best shot of a Peacock Butterfly but the best I could do in the circumstances
Again not the ideal position for a shot of this Red Admiral Butterfly but I was glad to get a shot at all so I was happy
Again not the ideal position for a shot of this Red Admiral Butterfly but I was glad to get a shot at all so I was happy
This Large White Butterfly posed quite helpfully, which is a change as normally the whites are most skittish
This Large White Butterfly posed quite helpfully, which is a change as normally the whites are most skittish
I think this one is a Green-Veined White butterfly
I think this one is a Green-Veined White butterfly