This will be my last blog for a while as I will depart soon to the Ardeche in France where I will have no internet access and no telephone coverage. For me a new region to discover and I’m very anxious to learn and see more about the Ardeche. I’m also looking forward to meet some Dutch people who lives there in the middle of nowhere together with some goats and without modern influence......I’m curious to hear their stories and experiences of living in France.
And of course I’m looking forward to the French butterflies, French rusty cars.....and French cheese and wine!
A bientôt et je retournerai en août!
Actually I planned to publish something else today until the news reached me that a colleague passed away in a terrible accident. One second on the wrong place and her life was over. My special thoughts go out to her family; especially to her children.
Last week I visited ‘my’ chapel to enjoy the silence and to light some candles for my soul-treasures. In a few days I will return to this chapel and burn a candle for her and hope that she will become a guardian angel for her children!
Perhaps they are not stars in the sky
but rather openings where our loved ones shine down
to let us know they are happy
††† 22-06-2012 RIP Angelique †††
Last Wednesday evening a lot of people watched the European Football Championship game the Netherlands against Germany. Although I’m living in the Netherlands for about thirty years now, on that kind of days the hard statements about Germans touches me. On Facebook ‘friends’ were laughing about some voodoo doll photos and although I’m not interested in football at all, from that moment on I hoped that the Germans would win. Fortunately I had some other plans for that evening and so I went out; no television for me!
I drove to the Kleine Beerze to see if I could find some resting dragonflies or butterflies. After photographing a small dragonfly I walked around for a while and enjoyed the fact that I was alone out there. Low between the grass I found some photogenic flowers and while I was photographing them, the group of Scottish Highland Cattle became closer. It’s a small group of three grown animals and a little calf (which was two weeks old on Wednesday). Comparing to the cattle group of last year these four animals are really shy; they run away immediately.
So while I was lying there in the grass I changed my lens and tried to photograph the little calf which was not easy as the grass was much higher. Then suddenly the calf run to it’s mum, the sun was coming out and there the two were standing, cuddling each other in the last sunlight......
Photographing the love between this mother and her child gave me a happy feeling. When it became dark I walked back to my car and on my way home I noticed the serious expression on the faces of some people which I passed. Despite voodoo the football fever was over!
An annual photo happening is my trip to the Eifel. Together with Gerard Schouten (also a passionate nature photographer) I visited this area a few days ago. We arrived early in the morning and just after one minute I found the first resting butterfly, a Chequered Skipper (Bont dikkopje) on a Black Rampion (Zwartblauwe rapunzel). I was happy and after I had taken some photos I walked up the hill searching for other butterflies.....after one hour a desperate feeling overwhelmed me.....where were the other butterflies??? Fortunately I found some orchids. After two hours I found a second and third Chequered Skipper and some later a Dingy Skipper (Bruin dikkopje), a Red-underwing Skipper (Kalkgraslanddikkopje) and one old Woodland Ringlet (Voorjaarserebia). Gerard found an old Common Blue (Icarusblauwtje); the total score of this area was 7 butterflies.......unbelievable!!!
Fortunately on an other place we found some Purple-edged Coppers (Rode vuurvlinder), Small Blues (Dwergblauwtje), Common Blues (Icarusblauwtje) and Dingy Skippers (Bruin dikkopje). A Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Zilveren maan) passed our camera’s and just at the moment we wanted to take a rest a talkative old ranger told us that it’s forbidden by German law to take photos in nature reserves and national parks. Thanks to him I read the “Bundesnaturschutzgesetz” (what else I can do on a free evening); 31 pages, at least more pages to read than butterflies in the Eifel and guess what......it’s not forbidden as long endangered species get not disturbed.
Early in the evening we drove to a valley for our last search for the Bog Fritillary (Ringoogparelmoervlinder). As I was a bit tired I decided not to take all the lenses with me.....why do I need the MP-E 65 mm as I have not seen any jumping spider all day long! We walked a while to find the meadow full of Common Bistort (Adderswortel) as the desired butterfly likes to rest on them. As a few things had changed there since my last visit I lost my orientation and so we walked into the wrong direction and while we were looking around I saw a ‘big’ jumping spider looking at me. I was happily surprised but also angry with myself not taken the MP-E 65 mm with me. With the 180 mm macro I took some photos and in contrast with ‘my’ other jumping spiders this one was very cooperative and stayed decently on the leaf.
Walking back we passed the meadow with Common Bistort but instead of butterflies two big feared eyes were looking at us within 5 metres....a Doe Deer was lying between the flowers and something was going on.....probably she had a little fawn or she had to deliver.....with my 180 mm I could have taken some photos but Gerard and I decided not to make any photo and to continue our way carefully without looking too much to her as in the first place we are nature lovers.
More photo’s are added in my Gallery Butterflies -> Germany - Eifel -> 2012
This period of the year I like the most! I’m outside almost every morning before sunrise and every evening until sunset. I’m in my element and photograph a lot these days; mostly I visit a small area of the Kleine Beerze as I want to complete my story. Yesterday I found three resting butterflies, three times a Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus - Hooibeestje). Of course I photographed them but I’m still concerned about the absence of other butterflies. Fortunately a lot of dragonflies and spiders can be found at this area.
Last year I rescued a few caterpillars of the Swallowtail (Papilio machaon - Koninginnenpage) from a poisonous shower on a carrot field and one of them emerged recently. I was happily surprised that this kind of butterfly, which loves warmer regions, survived the low winter temperatures. I had taken a few photo’s when the ‘Queen’ decided to fly into freedom….
Canon 7D; tripod; remote release; 180 mm, 1/10s at F9.0 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.