First signs of .....
Although we have tropical temperatures at the moment, the forests are inbetween seasons. The first leaves are falling down and after the heavy rain showers of last Sunday mushrooms are growing everywhere. With these extreme temperatures they are growing very quickly and shrinking even faster! Finding them in the afternoon (during a walk with my dog) and photographing them in the evening was an immense challenge!
In the afternoon it seemed very simple to come back in the evening and to catch some of the red russula together with the setting sun. But.....to see a glimpse of the sun through the angle finder I needed to dig a hole as none of the russula was growing 'high' enough. Of course I had no digging equipment with me so my hole was handmade. Dirty hands, dirty clothes and a lot of mosquito bites were not the main problem but the fact that I had put my camera in the sandy hole without checking if the camera connections were safely closed.
With a toothbrush I cleaned the connections and removed the sand as good as I could. I tested the USB-connection and found out that I had catched the first signs of autumn.
The Comma Battle
At the moment it's caterpillar time outside! In the last two weeks during my walks with Wanda I found at least thousand caterpillars in two area's. Leading is the Map Butterfly (after 25 caterpillar nests I stopped counting them) followed by the Red Admiral (on almost every nettle plant I found a caterpillar). In my own garden I found at least 25 caterpillars of the Red Admiral and two caterpillar nests of the Map Butterfly. More by surprise I found one caterpillar of the Comma Butterfly and again I had the hope to finish my 'battle' which started in 1999 (see/read my chapter metamorphosises). Last year I had two caterpillars of this species but one was parasitized and the other emerged during the night. In 2014 I missed the emergence process as the butterfly was 'born' during the night.
So I was very happy with this new chance and very soon after I found the caterpillar he started to search for a good place to transform into a chrysalis.
Unfortunately my Comma Battle will continue as this beautiful caterpillar was parasitized and an ugly larva hatched from my one and only comma chrysalis!
A few days before my holiday started (almost three weeks ago) I noticed three female Holly Blue butterflies on my two big Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) plants. In the evening I discovered one fresh egg and marked this place. When I returned last weekend, I found a caterpillar near the marked place and after the inspection of the complete plants I found a second caterpillar and four other empty eggs. Two days later I wanted to photograph the caterpillars but although the stem was marked, it took a long time before I found them back.....they had switched the stem and due to their 'simular to the flower' colour they were almost invisible.
One caterpillar, the left one was eating between the pink flowers was coloured more red and the other one, the right one, was eating the green flowerbuds on the top of the stem and was more greenish. When the first caterpillar was ready to search for a nice place to pupate, his colour had changed again and between the leaves he was again not visible.
Although I know that nature is that clever, I'm impressed and fascinated again!
Again I visited the ‘Dreisessel’ area to catch the red/pink/orange sky and the sunrise. During the drive to the top I realized that this would be probably my last phototrip for a while as I do not expect much butterflies back in The Netherlands. Again the sky was clear when I left but at the other side of the mountain on the top big clouds were passing. For an hour it was a big question if the sun would rise just in time…..fortunately she did for some minutes…..enough time to catch her warm light.
On my way back down I was hesitating if I should stop at one of the small spots near the road; four times I visited this place without finding any butterfly. I don’t now why, but I stopped and within a few seconds I found a very special butterfly: The Lesser Purple Emperor…..my dessert!
Dead or Alive
The weather around the ‘Dreisessel’ region is very unstable this year. One morning I left for another visit to the Dusky Large Blue spot with beautiful weather when after arrival (I just installed my tripod and camera in front of a butterfly) lightning and thunder above the area frightened me. Just in time I reached my car before it started raining cats and dogs. Later I found some more Dusky Large Blues but not other butterfly species. Due to the lack of butterflies I had a new goal: photographing the sunrise on the top of the ‘Dreisessel mountain’. Last year the weather was too bad but this year some clear nights/mornings were forecasted. My alarm clock went of very early and when I stepped outside the accommodation (which is located lower on the same mountain) the sky was clear. When I arrived at the top half an hour later the situation had changed; the first morning big thunderclouds just passed the sky before my arrival and hold back the sun. But, I will not complain….the atmosphere between the dead trees is magical.
In a few days all images will be added to the gallery Bayerischer Wald.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.