After an absence of almost three weeks, I inspected my vegetable garden and found out that the cabbage area is a battlefield. In all kind of sizes I found caterpillars of the Large White and one caterpillar of the Small White.
Eating any cabbage I can forget like every year.....I love this little creatures so the cabbage is for them. I must be content with some red tomatoes!
Unfortunately it is time to say goodbye to Germany. Last Thursday I visited the top of the Dreisessel area again and on my way back I visted one of my favorite spots and miraculously I found ONE resting butterfly, a Sooty Copper. Between my visits on Tuesday and Thursday again a butterfly spot (in years that I found them) had disappeared for the storage of trees.
Now it is time for a new adventure....tomorrow I will receive the keys of my new old house in France and a new chapter in life (with even less time) will start!
Because it has rained a lot last week, I was unable to visit the Dreisessel area earlier. This morning was the first opportunity to drive to the top and to use/test my new filters. As this is the fourth year in a row that I'm visiting this area I know exactly where I wanted to stand between the Willowherb. A few minutes after I had installed my camera and tripod I heard some strange music. Behind me on the rocks a woman was listening to indigenious music.....as I was focused on the beautiful red sky in front of me, I do not know if she was only listening to this kind of music or that she thanked mother nature for the rain.
Last year I found the Lesser Purple Emperor on my way back down. Not that I expected that kind of catch but after a long search it was time for coffee without any butterfly on my memory card.
The first morning after arrival in Bayern (Germany) I visited ‘my’ Dusky Large Blue spot and like last year I was surprised that again a part of their habitat was gone. Again all meadows were mown AND a big part with Great Burnet plants were gone (transformed into green grassland).
Only the plants near the road were saved and on them I found 9 Dusky Large Blues. One of the nine butterflies was an old one and after four years it was the first time that I found an old butterfly of this species….normally they live only a few days.
Last year I was complaining that the amount of butterflies in ‘Bayern’ was dramatically low…..this year I’m complaining again as till now I did not find any butterflies (except one Large Skipper) on ‘my’ other spots!!!!
The Alcon Blue is one of the most fascinating blue species in the Netherlands. Due to his life cycle and special requirements, red ants and marsh gentians (Gentiana pneumonanthe), it is a very vulnerable butterfly. Marsh Gentians have special requirements too, not too dry and not too wet. Last year we had extreme weather conditions with too much heavy rainshowers and big parts of the Alcon Blue areas were flooded for weeks. On some spots the ants were drowned and with them the Alcon Blues.
I doubted if I should go as the chance to find this species is very small. But, sometimes you have days/moments you will always be remember......when I stepped into the area this morning within 2 minutes I found the first of five resting Alcon Blues.....the rising sun gave a perfect atmosphere......what else do I need?
After two very busy weeks without touching my camera I went out with Wanda yesterday morning (without camera) to search for the Silver-studded Blue. I was curious if and how this species was doing after the area was drowned one year ago. After a long search, I found three resting butterflies.....what a disappointment! In the evening I returned with Wanda and fortunately I found more than three butterflies....obviously some of them were emerged that day. I did my very best to catch a Silver-studded Blue together with the setting sun but due to the forest nearby it was impossible. On my way back I found some resting butterflies and I decided to return this morning to catch the butterfly with the rising sun....after all I have a photo in mind.
When I entered the area this morning all my dreams of 'my perfect photo' faded away as thick fog welcomed me. No red warm sun, instead thick grey fog. After some close-ups I waited for the sun....by the time the fog became thinner and the light conditions perfect I had to leave the area as monday is a working day and my agenda started with interviews and I needed to be on time. During the second interview I started daydreaming.....about a Silver-studded Blue and perfect light conditions.....sweet dreams are made of this.
Unfortunately the trip to the Eifel went by too fast. The beer and food was excellent just like the company. The 'only' disappointing item were the low amount of butterflies at the old spots. Since almost 25 years I'm visiting these spots and the contrast between then and now is large. Some species are completely disappeared.
But, we also discovered two new area's and in one we found some hundreds of butterflies.....the majority was the Silver-studded Blue but it was a relief to find a place with a lot of fluttering.
Mission Bog Fritillary was not succesful, instead we found some Cranberry Fritillaries, a lot of Lesser Marbled Fritillaries and one resting Dark Green Fritillary.....together with the fun we had it was a pretty good Eifel trip!
After a busy working day, it's now time to relax and prepare my trip to the Eifel together with some members of the Palinka club. I'm in the mood for some German butterflies, food, beer and conversations. Es geht nichts über die deutsche Gemütlichkeit!
When I came home today, I noticed that two more Brimstones were born and in contrast to other butterfly species the Brimstone enjoys very slowly his new life....time enough to take some photos before I start to clean the car, pack my bag and camera stuff.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.