This morning my day started in the dark with the intention to catch the common purple heather together with the rising sun. As I visited a certain area for the last time during the winter, I had no idea where I could find the best purple heather and where exactly the sun was rising....I know, not very clever for a photographer but due to the lack of time I had no other choice.
By the time the sky started colouring orange I noticed that there was'nt much purple heather but a lot of grass and faded cross-leaved heath instead.
There was some slight fog, the sky was orange but I was messing around with my filter(s), more with the holder and the ring.....first I was not able to fasten the filter in the holder and some later, when I wanted to change the position of the filter a little bit, the complete holder including filter falled down in the wet grass. By the time I had a dry filter again, the best red in the sky was gone. As I had more problems this morning with the filters and holder, I assume that it has something to do with me and that I must use them more often.
By the time the sun was rising above the trees I was holding three filters in my hand; I found out earlier that it's better to use them without any space inbetween to avoid reflections. Completely wet, I made an error of judgement to assume that the area was dry, I was walking back to my car with the desire for a cup of warm coffee!
Forty of a kind
After a busy week with ‘normal’ work and a big odd job, I was very tired. Although I know that the heather is flowering at the moment and I had plans to visit a special heath area, I could not encourage myself yesterday evening to set my alarm clock. But, just after sunrise I woke up this moring and decided to come out of my bed for a cup of coffee. Downstairs around 30 new-born butterflies of the Large White were hanging around…..what a surprise as yesterday evening everything was quiet.
Because my garden is surrounded by maize in the direction where the sun is rising, I had no chance to ‘catch’ the first orange light but the second light was still acceptable. As soon as it was warm enough, one by one the new-born butterflies were flying into freedom. The remaining chrysalises emerged during the day because of the pleasant summer temperatures. Interesting fact was that the majority of butterflies were females.
Besides butterlies also two little parasitic wasps were emerged too. One flew away immediately but the other stayed around the yellow cocoons. Like I wrote many times before, my passion for butterfly and photography is much more than only a ‘nice’ shot' of the imago (butterfly stage). Finding and photographing an egg, caterpillar and/or chrysalis is giving me the same and sometimes more pleasure. So I was very very happy that I could ‘catch’ the parasitic wasp of the Large White.
A little introduction for the non-Dutch people: AH is the abbreviation of Albert Heijn which is one of the biggest supermarket chain in the Netherlands. In February and March this year, for every 15 Euro, I received some vegetable seeds to create my own vegetable garden.
After a lot of caretaking, I now have a lot of tomatoes and all stages of all Dutch white species. Their favourite of all vegetable/cabbage plants is broccoli. They ‘adore’ the leaves and some caterpillars have no problems with devouring all yellow flowers of the broccoli.
A nest of about sixty caterpillars of the Large White I found in their third skin; a few days later I decided to take them inside and feed them on my kitchen table.
After almost a week I found out that none of these caterpillars was infected by the White Butterfly Parasite (a wasp with the name Cotesia glomerata). That is a remarkable fact as normally a big part of the caterpillars is parasitised.
A second notable fact was that the caterpillars did not accept little branches or other dead natural material which I offered them; a big part of the caterpillars pupated in a group on the plastic of the insect box and the other part on the green broccoli leaves. Fortunately one caterpillar transformed into a pupa on a day I did not have to work (see sequence 1).
In the meantime I found an other caterpillar nest of the Large White on broccoli and some new eggs of the Green-veined White and/or Small White but they have to survive outside as I have no more space available on my kitchen table!
New gold dream
After a holiday in the mountains it costs me a few days to get used again to the mono culture here in my region. The advantage of living in a flat country are the spectacular sunrises and sunsets; using them for photographic purposes is another thing as the big disadvantage of this region are the amount of maize fields. This week I found out that all my favourite spots nearby are surrounded by big maize fields; warm sunlight has no chance to get through it.
As this week the sunrises and sunsets were very colourful; I visited the creek ‘Kleine Beerze’ which is really small at the moment due to lack of water. I found some common butterflies but unfortunately the sun disappeared behind the wall of maize before reaching the deep orange colour.
This female Darter (I guess a Vagrant Darter/Sympetrum vulgatum) I found near the creek. On the other side of the creek there were some big old trees which were causing shadow what resulted in lower maize and some more golden reflections of the setting sun.
Although I love summer and the presence of butterflies, dragonflies and other insects, I will be very happy when these maize fields will be harvested!
The whole of the moon
Again, two weeks holiday in the Bavarian Forest (see my chapter Bayrischer Wald) passed by too quickly. My plans to visit the top of the Dreisessel area before sunrise vanished as there were no clear blue (red/orange) skies; this plan will move to 2016 as I will return to the same area/accommodation again. This year, due to the hot and later rainy weather and because of the abscence of butterflies, I photographed not that much as I expected beforehand.
The last evening, when I drove back from dinner, I witnessed a breathtaking sunset: the complete forest was coloured orange. Fortunately I was just in time back at the accommodation to 'catch' the whole of the moon above the pony/cow meadow.
After a heart-warming farewell yesterday, I already look forward to meet everybody again in 2016!
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.