Although there are at least two moon eclipses every year, a total moon eclipse is less common....the next one will be on January 31 in 2018.
As I wanted to catch the 'blood moon' in a landscape, I made plans to visit a observation tower in a nature area but hesitated if the moon was big and close to the horizon enough. An other reason that I hesitated was my experience with the moon as he is actually too quick for a longer exposure. To make a long story short, I stayed at home and photographed the eclipse in my garden during the time the moon was red.
Highway to hell
Last Saturday it was the first time for me that I visited the nature area 'The Elzen' near Dordrecht and it was very nice to meet everybody from the 'Palinka' club again and to make new plans for a trip to France next year.
Unfortunately any colour in the sky was missing that morning. No signs of butterflies at all but instead plenty of snails.
Gerard showed me a snail with a special coloured feeler. In fact it is a parasite worm (Leucochloridium paradoxum) who is using the snail as temporary host; the definitive host for this parasite are birds. With this coloured rings in the feeler this parasite try to draw the attention of birds....it's amazing to witness this colour spectacle and it's cruel at the same time.
For an other occasion I was in Dordrecht again this week and I was impressed by the large number of herons.....fortunately they do not eat infected snails!
Walk of life
This time I will not bore you with a long story. Here is my favorite from last week when mother Fallow Deer stepped into the light followed by her little one.
When my alarm clock went off this morning, I hesitated if I should go as I was very tired and the idea/feeling to be out in the dark alone scared me a bit. This fear is more a kind of mindfuck (excuse me) as nobody is out there (mostly......one well hidden photographer almost scared me to death last winter) and it is only temporary as the fear always disappear as soon as I leave the forest and enter the heath area.
When I entered the area the sky started showing the first orange/red/pink colours and when I found my spot I started to catch the colours together with the moon. As I saw and hear some birds (geese) leaving and coming (spoonbills and herons) I walked to the lake and while I busy to 'catch' a pink reflection of trees in the water I noticed in the corner of my eye some movement. My first thought was that some people were walking in the water but it was strange that they had too much leggs. I switched the camera to the right and four deers were entering my image and world for one hour!
Although I was not hidden, the deers did not see nor hear me. I was standing on the other side of the lake and for one hour they were walking around in the water. Meanwhile the sun has risen and the soft pink light were gone.
From the same direction they had come from, they also disappeared. When I walked back to my car I was so happy and thankful for this beautiful morning!
The first life of a Holly Blue
The Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) is one of my faithful garden butterflies.....probably because I have a lot of Holly, Purple Loosestrife and Ivy growing. It's one of the first blue species in springtime and one of the last early autumn. While the females are searching for nectar, the males are searching for females in a very busy, almost spastic, flight high off the ground.
Some weeks ago I noticed how a female was inspecting a huge Ivy hedge and a few days later I found (with the help of a magnifier) an egg and followed its secret life:
The chrysalis is hanging upside down under the birch leaf so for the last three photos I had to turn around the leaf. The first two weeks, I used my special macro lens, the MP-E 65 mm; afterward I could use my 'normal' macro lens.
I hope that the chrysalis will survive the winter outside and that I can 'catch' the second life of the Holly Blue next spring!
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.