Yesterday evening I visited the Maasheggen (an area with wet meadows near the river Maas) for the first time this year. Since weeks I was saying that I will skip photographing Orangetips this year......so I was searching for other white species.
The amount of Cuckooflowers per meadow was completely different comparing to last year. There are a lot of smaller with bushes surrounded meadows which are perfect for detailed macro work but not suitable to catch the sunrise.
Fortunately I found a larger meadow with roosting Orangetips and Green-veined Whites....on one Cuckoo flower two Green-veined Whites were roosting.
With two roosting butterflies and a red sun in my mind I returned to this area again this morning....unfortunately one of the butterflies left the flower and was roosting in the grass and the sun was shining too bright too soon.
But, I'm happy with this image and I wish all my Dutch friends a happy national 'orange' holiday and for Gerard: Happy Birthday!!!
On the fourth day of being in Greece I saw my first False Apollo (Archon apollinus), a male, and some seconds later I saw the second one flying around. It was warm and sunny and they were very active. Making a decent photo of them was impossible as they like to sit low on the ground. After a beautiful day with lot of imperfect images I decided to come back two days later early in the morning. The larval foodplants of the False Apollo are Birtwort (aristolochia) species which are also the foodplants of the Southern and Eastern Festoon.
Twice I found a roosting Southern Festoon (Zerynthia polyxena); the Eastern Festoon (Zerynthia cerisy) was an other story as I only saw male butterflies around noon which were rushing past.....without tripod I followed one and finally I have one shot:
The Southern Festoon is a more lazy flyer, not that quick as the Eastern one, and much easier to photograph but like the False Apollo they like to sit on spots near/on the ground with a lot of disturbing elements around. After I had found the second roosting Southern Festoon I waited until he opened his wings.
Finding the exact locations of the False Apollos (archon apollinus) took me a few days as I needed warmth and sunshine to see them flying. We had cold days (8 degrees max) with a lot of wind (force 5)....impossible to find the False Apollo.
After being three days in Greece I finally found the first spot with at least 4 False Apollos flying around. Shortly after our arrival a mini-group (with a big butterfly net) arrived with the same goal....photographing the False Apollo. I took some 'shots' of a female of the False Apollo but not the kind of photos I'm longing for. Because this species is feeding from flowers low above the ground it's very difficult to make 'my kind of photo's' from this species without disturbing elements. As it was the first warm day a lot of other butterfly species were flying around too and I was happy to see two mating pairs of butterflies:
After two hours the mini-group left this spot and we were alone again....sitting under a big tree we observed the butterflies the rest of the day and noticed that the False Apollo like to dive into the bushes of grass in the afternoon to survive the night.
From the websites of two tour operators I learned that there would be a chance that one or both tour groups will return to this False Apollo spot the next day, so we choose a drive through the mountains to search for other spots....during this tour we found our first orchids:
During the winter I was longing that much for butterflies that my partner & I booked a trip to Greece to photograph spring butterflies. From reports which I found on the internet I learned that early April is a perfect time to find some nice species in the mountain area around Alexandroupolis.
On the first day, discovering the hills and countryside around Alexandroupolis we noticed two little puppies running near the road. Later that day we saw them again just outside the village Avantas near some other poor and skinny dogs.
Like a heavy car accident just happened....it was impossible to ignore this kind of skinny dogs....they needed help. We drove to a supermarket and bought our first big bag of dog food. Every day we drove to two, three our four spots with very skinny dogs and feed them. Some dogs were very shy but a few were very happy when we daily arrived and they greeted us very happy.
On day 7 we found one of the little puppies dead....hit by a car and left dead on the street. I placed his dead body under a tree and with a lot of tears we said farewell to him.
This first blog is not about butterflies but dedicated to the street dogs of Greece who all deserves a better life! Adopt.....don't shop!!!
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.