Yesterday evening I visited an other Cuckoo Flower area and found a lot of resting Orange-tips. As it was too windy I decided to return this morning to photograph them, hopefully with a beautiful sunrise. Nearby home I found an other Orange-tip (male) resting on Forget-me-not flowers.
When I woke up this morning I decided to stay around and photograph the Orange-tip on the blue flower. When I was busy I noticed that a second Orange-tip, a female, was also sleeping between the Forget-me-not flowers. A male and a female butterfly......maybe I have some luck and they will ‘like’ each other. But as it was cold and windy and both butterflies were still resting, I decided to come back later again. In the meantime I was satisfied with my photo of one resting Orange-tip on Forget-me-not.
Canon 7D; tripod; remote release; 180mm, 1/160s at F3.5 and ISO200
Two hours later I returned to the place but couldn’t find any Orange-tip. I looked around and on some other blue flowers I noticed two butterflies.....yes, they had found each other!!!! After I had taken the first photo’s I noticed that they were not mating and that she was very active. He, the true Orange-tip, was sitting, sitting or resting on that flower.
I observed them for a while and it was obvious that she wanted more.....she climbed around a few times, touched him with her tongue but nothing happened. She was very patience with him and I could take enough photos. Finally she gave up and flew away.....I looked at her in her flight and thought “we will never know what men really want”.
After months of writing emails, last weekend it was a pleasure meeting that person in real life....I had a kind of blind date. Together we travelled to the well-known Hallerbos near Brussels. Between Antwerp and Brussels fog came up and with some delay, caused by traffic jam, we arrived at a foggy Hallerbos.
Every year the circumstances at Hallerbos are different; in comparison with former visits this year the beeches had no fresh green leaves. I decided to concentrate on details and macro as I photographed enough tree-trunks with violet bluebells. Two hours after arrival the fog came down and I couldn’t resist photographing the following tree-trunks:
Canon 7D; tripod; remote release; 35-350mm at 110mm, 1/80s at F7.1 and ISO100
Around noon the sun came out and my desire for a nice cup of cappuccino became stronger. We decided to drive to the nice Belgian speaking bistro at the end of the road which I visited in 2011. Unfortunately the nice Belgian speaking bistro was changed into a chilly French speaking pizza restaurant. After only one cup of coffee we returned for our afternoon tour to the Hallerbos. This time I only took my camera with macro lens, beanbag and angle finder and started searching for photogenic flowers like this pink Wood Anemone.
Canon 7D; beanbag; angle finder; remote release; 180mm, 1/200s at F3.5 and ISO100
By the time some rain came down and a tired feeling came up we drove back to the Netherlands. After a tasteful dinner I showed my new friend the field with Cuckoo Flowers and immediately we found some resting Orange-tips. The red sunset was the perfect ending of a tremendous day!
This morning I was up early and before sunrise I was driving in the fog to the Cuckoo Flower area again. Of course I did not take again the forest path but drove straight to the field and when I wanted to park my car next to the road it happened.....I lost control about my steering wheel and the complete car was sliding down to the ditch.
Just in time the car stopped and when I get out I landed in thick mud. I looked at my car, the wheels and the ditch and started wondering if I will ever getting out without help. But as nature was awakening and the fog gave a mysterious atmosphere, I started searching for sleeping Orange-tips first....you never know what will happening next!
Canon 7D; beanbag; angle finder; remote release; 180 mm, 1/50s and 1/85s at F3.5 and ISO100
I found some resting Orange-tips and after I was ready photographing them I walked back to my car and studied each wheel. As I have front-wheel drive I checked the mud under and in front of the wheels and decided to give it a try. With a bit acceleration I tried to reach a faster part and a few seconds later I was back on the road and very proud that I had fixed it!
Back at home I laid some carton in my car as I like to visit the Orange-tips these days again!
Yesterday I saw the first emerged butterflies. Although the temperature was not that high, a Small White (Pieris rapae) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) were slowly enjoying the sun and the nectar of the Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria).
In the evening I decided to drive to an area where a lot of Cuckoo Flowers are growing to see if I can find some Orange-tips or Whites resting on these flowers. I took a small sandy path through the forest as once (six or seven years ago) I had driven there together with a friend. While I was driving on this path I was wondering where all the hills came from.....I was slowly driving up and down, up and down and after a few minutes I started wondering if this was a smart idea as I heard some noises under my car. The path was too sandy and the hills were too steep so I gave myself immediately the answer but the point was that I was out there alone so I had no choice. After a while the path became very narrow and I had to choose a direction; I couldn’t remember being there ever before. Fortunately I choose the right direction as after a few hundreds meter I could see in the distance the main road. I learned another lesson yesterday: saving money for a 4 wheel drive!
Finally I reached the wet meadows and the first Cuckoo Flowers were flowering. The sun was hiding behind the clouds and it was cold and windy. I was walking and searching for a long time but I did not find one single resting butterfly. The Cuckoo Flowers were lovely and I found a ditch full of Iris so I will return soon....very soon to search for Orange-tips!
Canon 7D; beanbag; angle finder; remote release; 180 mm, 1/85s at F3.5 and ISO125
Canon 7D; beanbag; remote release; 180 mm, 1/30s at F7.1 and ISO100
A flower with warm colours like his eyes
and a gentle and beautiful heart
A flower with soft leaves like her skin
and a warm and tender heart
Forget me not
What a beautiful spring weather the past two weeks! As I like sunshine and higher temperatures I will not complain, but outside everything is growing and transforming very quickly, sometimes too quick....the first Orange-tips and Green Hairstreaks have been seen and photographed yet!
Last week I felt recovered enough to go out with a small photo backpack and I decided to visit Landgoed de Utrecht to search for Wood Anemones. The last time I photographed them there was in 2005 and in the meantime a few things had changed (roads which are no longer accessible, a new golf course). After a short delay of taking a wrong path and photographing the Peacock butterfly (see my previous blog), I found near the creek a lot of Wood Anemones.
As it was a complete wilderness, caused by Japanese Knotweed which has large dry brown stalks and obviously growing there by hundreds, my new wide angle lens was useless. So I had to concentrate on individual flowers and although hundreds of Woods Anemones were flowering, it was hard to find photogenic flowers with some flowers in front of it. The best Wood Anemones were growing next to the main foot path so I had a lot of pleasant conversations as Landgoed de Utrecht is very very crowded!
But, I made a virtue of necessity and asked some of the walkers to create some shadow....they were really cooperative!
Beneath you will find three (3) photo’s as I visited Landgoed de Utrecht three times this week; if you like to see more photo’s please look on my new gallery Spring Flowers (Portfolio -> Spring Flowers).
Canon 7D; beanbag; remote release; 180 mm, 1/400s at F3.5 and ISO100
Canon 7D; beanbag; remote release; 180 mm, 1/320s at F3.5 and ISO100
Canon 7D; beanbag; remote release; 180 mm, 1/320s at F3.5 and ISO100
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.