Eunice was one of the February storms this year which struck the Netherlands on the 18th of February. Heavy gusts of 145 km/hour caused a lot of fallen trees and other damage. After the storm I searched twice for eggs of the Purple Hairstreak; I needed to be quickly as fallen trees and large branches were cleaned up quickly.
After two searches I found 32 eggs on fallen branches, often with two eggs. Just before my trip to Greece a lot of the eggs were hatching and when I came back I had 13 little caterpillars (about 8 eggs never hatched):
I kept them on a cool place and when the caterpillars were finished eating they transformed into 13 little brown chrysalises. Due to the summer temperatures in the Netherlands 10 of them (five males and five females) have already emerged yet and flew into freedom.
I also tried to catch the males with open blue wings but the blue is only visible under a certain angle and every time I moved my camera a little bit they were gone.....but I'm happy with this female who was cooperative and did not fly away immediately when I created some shadow over her.
It's almost two weeks ago that I visited the Eifel again together with the Jordan brothers. We visited a lot of spots and the only thing I can say....it was scary to see how the vegetation of some places had changed enormously. Flowers and larval foodplants are pushed away by grass and other quick growing plants. A small bog area was transformed into high grassland with a few bog flowers left. The amount of Bog Fritillaries was not bad but they were almost fighting about the flowers; the next morning we found two fritallaries on one flower next to the path.
Our wish was to find Lesser Marbled Fritillaries but the meadow in which we found a lot of them in 2018 was completely transformed....no larval foodplants, no flowers....only grass. Fortunately we found one butterfly near the path on its larval foodplant and by the time my camera was ready for the first photo the sun arrived and some seconds later the fritillary was gone.
Despite the low amount of butterflies we counted 28 species and we had a nice weekend with of course delicious 'Kaffee & Kuchen'.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.