In my former blog I wrote that I did not find any Coppers, that was not completely true. During my first visit to the Dreisessel area, I found one old Purple-edged Copper. Due to his threadbare state, not worth mentioning. One week later I found the same butterfly again! I was really surprised as the weather had changed completely half way the week into stormy, rainy cold weather. He deserves respect that he faced these elements and earned a place in my blog!
At the same time I started wondering how it comes that this member of the Lycaenidae family reaches an age of weeks and survives stormy, rainy weather and other members of the same family, like the Alcon Blue, are that sensitive that they can’t defying this kind of weather?
Here is another beauty which I only can find at day/flight…….the Dark Green Fritillary. I searched in a lot of meadows to hope to find one resting specimen or other rare beauties….. regrettably without any success till today.
that tonight’s gonna be a wet night,
that tonight’s gonna be a wet wet night
I gotta feeling
that this year’s not gonna be the best butterfly year
that this year’s not gonna be the best best butterfly year
Although I have no reason to complain as I found two phengaris species (see my former blog), I’m surprised by the small number of butterflies here in the Bavarian Forest. Last year nearby the Dreisessel area, in almost every small meadow near the road and near the top of the mountains I found dozen of Ringlets (erebia species); this year I could not find ONE Ringlet. Last year I also discovered a spot with the very endangered Cranberry Blue and some Violet Coppers (see the chapter Bayerischer Wald); unfortunately no sign at all of any Coppers and Blues this year.
The only species which was resting faithfully on the same spot was the Nickerl’s Fritillary and again I catched this species with some reflections of the rising sun.
After a long day of travelling, I was happy leaving the highway. Near the highway exit I stopped to take something from the car trunk and noticed some Great Burnet plants. More for fun I took a look and started to dance when I noticed a Dusky Large Blue on Great Burnet. A few seconds later I noticed two females Scarce Large Blue who were laying eggs on/in the flower buds. Again I started dancing….unfortunately my camera was packed well in the car so I had continue without one photo…..but, my first trip was fixed up.
My second trip was the place of the Dusky Large Blues which I discovered last year. Leaving in the dark has the (dis) advantage that I had no idea about the weather; so arrived in thick grey clouds on the butterfly spot….the same weather which I had last year. Although it rained during the night, the butterflies started moving directly as soon as I came too close. What a surprise when I found one single Scarce Large Blue between all the Dusky Large Blues.
First of all I would like to thank everybody for the overwhelming birthday wishes!
Although the weather forecast was not that good for today, I visited a moor area this morning to search for the Large Chequered Skipper which I found some days earlier in an other moor area.
For this special occasion I was wearing my new anti-mosquito bracelet but within a few minutes I found out that it did not work at all and that my hands and face were breakfast again for a lot of mosquitos.
After a while I found the first resting 'golden' skipper followed by six others. As the temperature was around 18 degrees C, they became active as soon as my macro lens came too close. Some rain showers ensures that they did not fly away and that I had to use my umbrella to protect my camera; not the weather I wished for my birthday......but, I will not complain......enough butterflies, singing birds and no other people!
Each year I visit an area nearby for the Silver-studded Blue, a species which prefers heathland that has not become overgrown. To fulfil their habitat need, a lot of maintenance took place the last two years. Young birches and pines are removed and the big old heather plants are mown.
The butterfly below I found the evening before on Common Heather but as it was still warm she flew away and landed on Cross-leaved Heath; normally this species prefer to rest on Common Heather followed by Purple-Moor Grass. I took some pictures but got disturbed by a hot air balloon who needed to land quickly. Within minutes the meadow nearby was crowded and I decided to return the next morning.
The next morning I found out that this female butterfly was gone.....fortunately I found her back within some metres also on Cross-leaved Heath. The light just before sunrise was soft and warm; the carpet of Cross-leaved Heathplants in the background causes the p!nk touch.
P!nk is one of my favourite colours and musician!
Recently, I visited my 'old' spots in the Eifel and while I was walking around I was wondering if there was something wrong with my eyes or if there were no butterflies. In a meadow where I found last year hundred of butterflies, I now did not find one single butterfly. It felt so unreal and uncommon!
My accompanist had more luck and found a Purple-edged Copper but as it was cloudy the wings of the butterfly were closed. As I photographed this species with closed wings two weeks earlier in Belgium, I had no need to hurry......until the sun started shining. Within a minute this rigid butterfly came alive and opened his wings. Yes, it was a male with one of my favourite colour combinations: orange, red and purple.
We visited an other meadow where we fortunately found some more butterflies and thanks to the Red-Backed Shrikes, I discovered a spot of the Black Hairstreak. Since a long time I knew that the spot was somewhere nearby, but I never found them until this year. While we were observing and photographing two Red-Backed Shrikes who were flying around but returning to the same tree and/or bushes, I noticed some wild-moving brown butterflies above some bushes. Unfortunately these small butterflies were too active and sitting too high in the bushes that photographing them was a mission impossible.
My plan to return soon to this spot vanished due to some other priorities. Meanwhile the flight of other butterfly species started and like each year it feels that I have not enough time.
Orange, red and purple,
this is why this species is called 'Purple-edged Copper'
A week with mixed feelings and emotions lies behind me. On my way to my work, I pass the place where the young man died one week ago; a few days ago another young man on a scooter stopped and left some flowers......what a heartbreaking gesture.
Meanwhile the summer temperatures are incredible. I can not remember that we ever had that temperatures at five o'clock in the morning. The Silver-studded Blues were resting in/on heather but as soon as I came too close they were moving around or flew away.
I hope that the next days some rain will come and that the tempeatures early in the morning will be 'normal' again.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.