Although the year has just started, I'm longing for butterflies already!
2019 will be a special year for me as during the butterfly season I'm off for four months. My sabbatical will start and end with a trip to the southern part of France and in a few days, together with some friends I will plan some trips for the months in between. A visit to the area in which we photographed this Black-veined White will be on my wish list for 2019.
As my Christmas Holiday started yesterday, it's time to slow down a little bit, listening to Ludovico Einaudi's masterpiece 'Divenire' and to be thankful for a great 2018!
This is not a usual photo but for me it represents mosts of the things I need in life: freedom, happiness, nature, peace, love and......a good cup of coffee!!!
I wish you all Merry Christmas and the very best for 2019!
Merry Christmas - Prettige kerstdagen - Frohe Weihnachten - Joyeux Noël!!
For some time I was wondering if I could change the camera brand. Since 1991 I'm very loyal to Canon but the last years felt like Canon had 'missed the boat'.
A few days ago I decided to give up my loyalty and bought a new camera from Sony....the 7RM2. From today my Canon 7DMKII will retire after > 100000 shutter counts as back-up camera.
As I was overwhelmed by the Mercantourtrip last summer, I decided to return in 2019 and of course I will visit the Mountain Fritillary spot near the Col d'Allos again together with my new workhorse and I hope some friends!
The Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) is one of the loyal visitors to my garden. Two weeks ago I saw the last of them on flowering Ivy. As this species is a migratory butterfly and the weather switched from summer into autumn a few days ago, they probably on their way to the south now. With their departure it's time to look back to a wonderful butterfly season and making plans for the next one!
One month ago my three-legged-cat Grabou disappeared and I immediately felt that something happened to her. Of course I started searching for her as she always stayed within earshot but I did not find her. After Mini, Junior, Rosa, Toby and Hermann, Grabou is the 6th cat which is probably killed in the neighbourhood.
This photo is the last photo of her; together with Hugo & Boss (†) she joined me on the couch when I was working at my laptop. I found Grabou in 2011 as a little helpless kitten in the night I was ready to leave to France. She cried for help and I postponed my trip for some hours and arranged that she was save.
Losing her 7 years later makes me very sad and I hope that karma (Grabou's spirit) is a bitch!!!!
With these temperatures, 28 degrees on 13 October, it was not really a surprise that the first Swallowtails emerged. Although I did my very best to keep them as cool as I can, two of them were born yesterday....it is just too warm....again we have a 'canicule' (one of the first new words I learned in french lesson last week).
This morning I tried to catch them in my garden with the rising sun but it was'n easy with a new big factory farm in the background. I guess, it's time to leave to France!
As a few caterpillars of the Swallowtail were not pupated yet (see my former blog) I was desperately looking for a carrot field last Monday; I was driving around hoping to find one. Finally I found one and took some green leaves and.....I found 16 caterpillars of the Swallowtail. On Wednesday I returned and collected 25 caterpillars (from the edges of the field).
Yesterday I drove again to this field but, as expected, it was gathered and the farmer was working on it far away. While I was searching for some resting green carrot leaves I heard the noice af the tractor coming closer and closer.
The majority of the 46 caterpillars will pupate within a few days. Together with the other chrysalises I need to reorganize my hibernation box as for the first time it is completely full. For the other caterpillars I ordered a new one....who knows what I will find the next days.
Due to this fabulous summer, I found some caterpillars of the Swallowtail. First in July on a carrot field which was gathered the day after and second in August on fennel. I received some fresh fennel to feed them and when they were all almost grown and pupated I discovered a tiny little caterpillar which was just born....so the complete story continued. Last Monday evening I run out of food for the last caterpillar as my fennel is empty. I drove to a carrot field and found immediately a tiny little caterpillar. Although it was getting dark I searched on a place with high weed between the carrots (a sign that this piece of land was not treated with poison) and found 11 caterpillars:
As these caterpillars are very hungry and as I wanted to search for more caterpillars I drove to the carrot field this morning. Big machines were busy and the wilder part with weed was already completely gone.
How many swallowtails we would have in the Netherlands when some of the carrot field would not be gathered?
Eight month ago I found two little 'dumped' kittens in the forest. Not knowing what to do with them I took them home as leaving them behind in the forest was not an option for me. Once at home they turned out to be very sweet and socialized that I decided to keep them. They were named Hugo & Boss. Boss was smaller than Hugo and from the vet I learned that they had different ages.
Although they were probably not from the same nest they were very close and attached to each other. Boss was too tame to strangers and not afraid of cars.....in the passed months I was often worried about him. Yesterday evening disaster struck.....Boss was hit by a vehicle and my sons found him dead this afternoon.
For the first time in weeks, my alarm clock went off early this morning and together with Frank & Gerard I had the mission to find some Small Coppers and other butterflies in an area which we visited more often.
To make a long story short.....we only found ONE Common Blue and ONE Small Heath. Sometimes, like today, ONE is enough to make my day!
The trip ended in tradition on a sunny terrace with delicious coffee & apple pie. I could get used to this!
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.