An other highlight from the Mercantour/Haute-Alpes trip was the rebellious family member of the Alcon Blue, which looks very simillar but who prefers an other larval foodplant, the cross-leaved gentian (gentiana cruciata), it was nice to 'meet' the Mountain Alcon Blue!
The day before we explored the area and we found a lot of active butterflies; Frank discovered a couple of this species who were busy with the 2019 generation.
It was a pleasure to see that this species was doing well and that a lot of them were flying around. In a few days I hope to meet a family member of this species during my holiday in Germany.
Again a year has passed and it's time to review 2017 and to slow down and enjoy the quality time with family. After a long search I found in 2017 'my little house in the forest' and I 'm privileged and feel blessed that I have a place to relax and where I'm completely connected with nature.
2017 was a year with worries about decisions of our world leaders, about the decline of insects like butterflies and bees, about the renewal of the licence to use the weedkiller Glyphosate in the EU for another five years, about my experience that too many people are too indifferent regarding nature/animal issues, about my encounters with very agressive people in traffic, about the growth of intensive animal farming. When I was little I learned that when I wanted something to change I must start with myself and so I did.....I stopped eating meat.
The amount of butterflies was dramatically low in 2017, in my garden during the summer season I counted only a few specimens and during my annual holiday in Germany I found ONE resting butterfly. Fortunately some other visits and trips to nature areas recovered the balance of my desire to find butterflies and I have some nice memories of 2017.
The visit to the Alcon Blue area was a special one as I was afraid to find none. In 2016 big parts of their habitat was drowned for weeks. Finding this species within a few seconds after entering the area gave me hope! Hope that the brink of extinction is not reached yet....hope that we can change it....hope that we can change more things to save our planet.....we only must start with ourselves!!!
I wish you all Merry Christmas and the very best for 2018!
Merry Christmas - Prettige kerstdagen - Frohe Weihnachten - Joyeux Noël!!
The Alcon Blue is one of the most fascinating blue species in the Netherlands. Due to his life cycle and special requirements, red ants and marsh gentians (Gentiana pneumonanthe), it is a very vulnerable butterfly. Marsh Gentians have special requirements too, not too dry and not too wet. Last year we had extreme weather conditions with too much heavy rainshowers and big parts of the Alcon Blue areas were flooded for weeks. On some spots the ants were drowned and with them the Alcon Blues.
I doubted if I should go as the chance to find this species is very small. But, sometimes you have days/moments you will always be remember......when I stepped into the area this morning within 2 minutes I found the first of five resting Alcon Blues.....the rising sun gave a perfect atmosphere......what else do I need?
This stormy and grey weather doesn't invite me to go out. It's the perfect moment after a busy period to remember and review the nice photomoments of 2014 and to select images.
The discovery of Phengaris (endangered species) area's were definitely a high-light like the Alcon Blue on a beautiful warm summer morning in the middle of July.
That morning the dynamic range of my eyes were much greater than the one of my camera; I saw a big orange ball which my camera (sensor) did not see.
As I had no filters with me, I took some over- and under-exposed photo's with this photo as the most acceptable result and the awareness that I need new (more shades of grey) filters.
Before my last visit to the Alcon Blue last week, I had some photos in mind which I couldn't realize due to the bad weather conditions. As since wednesday the summer has returned, I rescheduled my agreements for a last visit to the heath area. This morning my alarm clock went off early again and it was a joy to be out on this beautiful place with some fog and a perfect sunrise!
After a night without much sleep, today my day started early in a nature area to search for the Alcon Blue. In my last blog I wrote that this species disappeared in the area which I visited for years.
Finding the Alcon Blue was the first present for me this special day!
After a short and stunning night I’m very happy that Barack Obama will be the president of the United States for another four years and I wish him and his family all the best to realizes his issues for America. In four and even eight years he will be not able to change/realize everything, but I hope that he will make fundamentally changes regarding new energy resources and sustainability and that other big nations will follow suit!
I believe that only with the emphasis on sustainability the earth=(nature+humans) have a chance to survive!
This image shows an endangered butterfly species, the Alcon Blue (Phengaris alcon) which has some habitat requirements: Dry grassland with Gentians and red ants.
I hope that we will be in time realizing what really matters in life and that in the next century, nature photographers can also enjoy and photograph the Alcon Blue!
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.