Summer Nostalgia

I love autumn, but with the turn of every season comes a sadness at the loss of what once was. A nostalgia for times gone before. There weren’t many butterflies this summer but the ones that did come were as beautiful as ever, and I miss them now that their time is nearly over. This lovely Painted Lady spent quite a time in my garden brightening my day a couple of weeks back.

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Questing for Wings in Bournemouth

I realised I never finished posting my photos from our visit to Bournemouth last month, and this set fit will with this week’s Photo Challenge: Quest. While walking around Compton Acres, and Bournemouth Gardens I was always on a quest for something interesting to photograph. As you’ll know I did take a lot of photos of flowers and sculptures, but what I was really looking for were things with wings! With quite a lot of water about in the form of ponds and streams I was hoping for Damselflies and Dragonflies, and I wasn’t disappointed 🙂

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Azure Damselfly
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Speckled Wood Butterfly
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Speckled Wood Butterfly
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Beautiful Demoiselle
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Large Red Damselfly
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Golden-Ringed Dragonfly
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Beautiful Demoiselle
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Beautiful Demoiselle

 

The Foot-High Club

Taking a break from finishing off the photos from Compton Acres today to bring you a pair of Dragonflies mating in mid-air. Quite tricky to photograph but I’m pleased to have got some half-decent shots.  Rather than joining the mile-high club as is the phrase with such activities on an aeroplane, these guys are joining the foot-high club as they stayed near the water’s surface.

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Mating pair
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Mating pair
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Mating pair
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Accidental extreme close-up!
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Male resting
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Male resting

Here Be Dragons

I mentioned in the previous post that I’d seen some Dragonflies on my wanderings and here they are…

Back home I spotted this Common Darter by the pond last Thursday. At first I was disappointed as I didn’t see any Dragons, but then I managed to spot this one and get a couple of shots.

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I also managed to get a couple of shots of this big chap (a Golden-Ringed Dragonfly) who was being very elusive and flying off long distances when I crept up on him. I spent quite some time stalking him before admitting defeat. These are the best shots I managed:

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Then more recently I was on my way down to Bournemouth (where I am now) and stopped over at my Mum’s in Bristol. While pottering round her garden looking at butterflies we were surprised to find another Common Darter there. There’s no pond in the garden so I’m guessing he must have been visiting from the ponds down in the fields below their house. He perched awkwardly high up so the shots are a bit different from my usual approach.

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Not only that, but then we spotted a Damselfly in the garden too! I think they came just to make me happy 🙂

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We got down to Bournemouth a couple of days ago and while the weather was half-decent we had a walk in the gardens. I did spot one or two Dragons but they were being very unhelpful so no photos of them. I did get this one shot of a Beautiful Demoiselle though:

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Hopefully if the weather perks up a bit we’ll be able to go for another stroll and perhaps I’ll catch another Dragon 🙂

A Lack of Fluttering

Is it just me or is there a bit of a lack of butterflies this year in the UK? Our Buddleia is blooming, and yet there are hardly any butterflies around. Perhaps it’s the weather – not especially warm and certainly not very sunny at present. It seems to be a mainly damp summer with occasional spells of good weather for a couple of days at a time. Usually once the Buddleia is flowering there would be Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshells, Painted Ladies, and Commas around, but I haven’t seen any in the garden. All I’ve seen recently are Ringlets, Green-Veined Whites and Small Whites. Of course, it could just be that I’m just impatient and expecting them a bit too soon!

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Ringlet Butterfly
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Ringlet Butterfly
Green-Veined White Butterflies mating
Green-Veined White Butterflies mating
Small White Butterfly
Small White Butterfly

Pink!

We have a pink theme going on in nature at the moment it seems. These are some pink flowers I spotted at the weekend between rain showers.

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Cranesbill
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Thistle
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Red Campion
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Rhododendron
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Dog Rose
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Foxglove

Tiny Hoppers

It seems to be the start of Grasshopper Season. I spotted quite a few tiny little Grasshoppers jumping about in the grass just over a week ago. Maybe they will have grown a bit next time I take some photos of them.

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Sunbathing

It has been a little too warm for me lately. I am not very good with heat.

These guys, however, were delighted.

Meet Mr and Mrs Lizard, enjoying a spot of sunbathing at Cors Caron Nature Reserve a week or 2 back.

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Mr Common Lizard
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Mrs Common Lizard

Closer and Closer

You may have noticed that I am slightly obsessed with dragonflies. Every time I go for a walk round the village pond I’m looking out for them. And what I am always trying to get with my photos is a good focus on their amazing eyes. I creep closer and closer and hold my breath …

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Found one 🙂
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Getting closer in
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Extreme close-up! Look at those eyes!! Swoon… click the photo to see the full effect

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Close Up.”

Fluffy the Skipper & Friends

Meet Fluffy the Skipper… wouldn’t you just like to give him a cuddle? Skippers are probably the most cuddly-looking butterflies you’re ever likely to meet. The first time I saw one I assumed it was some kind of moth as they’re usually the more fluffy ones.

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Fluffy on a Knapweed flower
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Fluffy on a Bramble leaf

Fluffy wasn’t alone – there were other fluffy and not so fluffy creatures hanging out round the pond on Saturday with him …

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Fluffy and friends on Ragwort L-R Fluffy the Skipper, Bob the Thick-Legged Flower Beetle, Colin the Small Copper Butterfly
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Colin with Bob in the background. Colin is also rather fluffy as you can see
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Colin showing off his rather impressive proboscis
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Barry the Bumble was also looking rather fluffy (and covered in pollen) as he bumbled busily around this Scabious flower.
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Even Darren the Common Darter dragonfly is showing off a nice bit of neck fluff (although he doesn’t really have a neck, that’s his thorax I believe)
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Rather less fluffy friends include Sir Geoffrey the Grasshopper here. He’s looking a teeny bit fluffy but also slightly scary
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Gary Grasshopper, not at all fluffy, resting on a Nettle
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Greta the Grasshopper posed glamorously for me on this Bindweed leaf
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Bob the Flower Beetle decided a Bindweed Flower was a nice place to get some peace and quiet
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David the Dock Bug was a bit lost, clomping around the grass looking for some Dock leaves

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Close Up.”

Soothing Summer Wildflowers

All the lovely summer wildflowers are appearing around the village, and many of them are very busy places, filled with visitors. I’m feeling a little antsy and impatient tonight so please join me in viewing these soothing and beautiful wild summer flowers, to calm your soul and remind you of the simple joys of life 🙂

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Birds-Foot Trefoil
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Purple Loosestrife
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Soldier Beetles enjoying some time on a Thistle
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Greenbottle Fly on a Thistle
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Rosebay Willowherb
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Soldier Beetle on a Thistle
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Potato Capsid bug and a fly on Knapweed
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Birds-Foot Trefoil
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Greenbottle fly on a Thistle
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Birds-Foot Trefoil

Sadly none of these are yet available on my Shop, but keep your eye out because as soon as the internet speed is up to it and I have the time, I shall be uploading a new batch of images.

Sunshine Dragon

I absolutely love this shot I got today! The sun was coming and going as clouds kept blocking it out and I was wandering around the village pond looking out for wildlife. I came upon this dragonfly in the tall grass and as I was kneeling to get a low-down shot, the sun came out and turned it into a magical scene full of bokeh and sparkle 🙂

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Available to buy on my shop in a variety of formats.