If there is one butterfly species which I do not need to photograph anymore, it is the Orange-tip. Every year I have the intention to skip this species but the desire to 'catch' this harbinger of spring is that big that I can not resist the temptation, even the fact that the area is now surrounded by barbed wire (which cost me a trouser and caused an ugly injury in my hand) can not stop me!
The first morning I stepped into their world, the complete area was frozen and covered under a white layer of ice crystals including Orange-tips. After a beautiful sunrise I visited a female butterfly which was covered with ice crystals and while I was busy with finding the right composition/detail as the cuckoo flower was curved due to the cold, I noticed the first egg.
The second morning I was very happy that again the sun was cooperative and with a good feeling and a full memory card I continued my way to work.
I think the Orange-tip and I have a special relationship, a kind of neverending love so probably I will find soon caterpillars in my garden on Annual Honesty and the circle of life will start again. The only thing I will change in 2017 is the area as too many people were asking what I was doing......
Last Thursday I saw the first Orange-tips of 2016. Three male butterflies were flying around the Cuckoo flower area which I visited after work. My plans to return after dinner vanished when I saw dark clouds coming and instead of a beautiful sunset it was raining cats and dogs. Since then we have wind force 3 or 4 so I did not return to the Cuckoo flower area. Today I noticed that the colour of the chrysalis (last year I found (only) one caterpillar of the Orange-tip in my garden) had changed and while I was looking at the chrysalis it was moving a little bit. As quickly as possible I took my tripod and camera and there she came.....
The complete emerging sequence (number 6) is published under Metamorphosis -> Orange-tip.
This morning Landgoed de Utrecht was the meeting point for the members of the 'Palinka' club to photograph wood anemones and to enjoy the first sunlight. It was the first time since my backache five weeks ago that I tried the favorite low macro position again.
Later, while enjoying a cappuccino with a piece apple pie, we discussed the finishing touch of our trip to France in June. After some members have left, we returned to the wood anemones and we were just in time to 'catch' a female Brimstone. It's my first butterfly picture of 2016! Probably the next picture will follow soon as in the afternoon I noticed the first Holly Blue and I received the message from a friend that some Orangetips has been seen today.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Six days old and triplicated its size! This morning I scanned the oak buds/leafs and found the same caterpillar which I photographed on the 1st of April. Unfortunately the little caterpillar was very active (hungry) and after a lot of unsharp images with the MP-E 65 mm, I changed the ISO of my camera which resulted in more unsharp images with less details of the caterpillar.
When I returned from work early in the evening I found the caterpillar resting on an other oak leaf.
April Fools' Day
It's not an April Fools' joke but on this 1st of April I saw the first butterflies of 2016 and one of the eggs of the Purple Hairstreak has hatched. In a forest nearby I first saw a Peacock Butterfly and some later a male Brimstone. In an other forest a Comma Butterfly and two other Brimstones crossed my path. What a nice 1st of April!
It took some time and I needed a magnifier but finally I traced the tiny little new born caterpillar which already had reached an oak bud in which he had eaten a hole. It costs the caterpillar a day but finally he disappeared in the oak bud:
All images are taken with the Canon MP-E 65 mm lens. The first image on which also the empty egg is visible has a 1:1 magnification; the other three have a 5:1 magnification. The next time I will see this caterpillar he will have an other size.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.