For months I was longing for them and finally they have emerged....the first Orange-tips. One week ago I found some meadows near the Meuse with a lot of cuckoo-flowers to which I returned this morning. Entering this area in the dark was a great experience with barking deers and screaming owls....I was glad that I was in good company!
Actually I wanted to catch the Orange-tip together with the rising sun but due to heavy vegetation around the meadow, the first orange light together with some fog arrived in my composition about 15 minutes after sunrise and disappeared again within a minute.
Unfortunately not much orange light for me this morning but I will not complain as I enjoyed being outside again and searching for butterflies!
Since weeks I was longing to visit the Vosges again but unfortunately the Belgian and France borders are closed due to the situation around Corona and it seems that it's going to take a while.....so no Camberwell Beauty and Large Tortoishell for me this spring. Fingers crossed that the borders will be open again in a few weeks.
Meanwhile I'm enjoying myself with the caterpillars of the Glanville Fritillary.Although we have sunny weather since more than a week, it is too cold and windy for butterflies. The little caterpillars love resting in the sun and they are not very active......until......I create some shadow.....they immediately start to 'run' over/around/into the nest and it's a challenge to get a decent composition.
By the end of April I hope to catch this and other butterfly species in France!
Three weeks ago I noticed that in the forest nearby (which I visit regularly with my 'new' dog) a lot of trees near the path were cut down....some of them were oaks so I had to come back to search for Purple Hairstreak eggs.
Last Saturday I visited this area with a friend who found the first egg. Some days later I returned to collect more branches for breeding this butterfly species and to search for more eggs.
I also discoverd a lot of empty eggs (which I found out at home after looking at them with the MP-E 65mm lens at 5x zooming). Fingers crossed that the little caterpillars found their way into the oak bud and that they survived!
My hope for landscape photos with the rising sun vanished day by day during my Lapland/Finland trip. Due to the storms Lapland was covered by a thick layer of clouds. Instead, I amused myself with birds. Twice I tried to catch some White-troated Dippers and the last day I tried to catch some Siberian Jays in the snow.
In the meantime an old version of Lightroom is installed on my laptop and I can edit photos again. As soon as I'm used to my new workflow I will post more photos in the Lapland gallery.
From the 9th until the 16th February I was in Finnish Lapland with a small group of photographers led by Andrew George. From the moment I stepped outside the plane of Kuusamo airport I was impressed by the amount of snow and the beautiful nature of Lapland. For one week I lived in a white fairytale world and saying goodbye was hard!
This picture of our group is taken in Riisitunturi National Park where trees became creatures and where the possibilities of taking pictures are endless. Unfortunately the photo editing software on my laptop is not working anymore after an update so I'm 'badly disabled' at the moment. As soon as the problem is fixed (I guess that I have to buy a new laptop) more images/blogs about this trip will be published.
First I wish you all Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2020!
Merry Christmas - Prettige kerstdagen - Frohe Weihnachten - Joyeux Noël
2019 was a great and lovely year, the year that I became 50, the year that I enjoyed four month of vacation and photographed a lot of butterflies, the year of having fun & good conversations with close friends.....but also the year of saying goodbye to three beloved pets. Yesterday, on Christmas Eve we had to say goodbye to our beloved cat Dizzy. I found Dizzy in the summer of 2007; she was very ill with big bald spots in her fur. Fortunately she recoverd and as my childeren loved watching Bob the Builder we named her after the funny orange machine.
The last weeks it was obvious that Dizzy was very ill, the vet diagnosed a big tumor in her mouth and there was nothing we could do for her anymore except to let her go. Without Wanda, Hugo and Dizzy it's very quit but as long as I live here I will keep/take no more new cats....too much hunters/cat haters and crazy car drivers.
Not that I'm posting no butterfly pictures anymore, but the loss of Dizzy was the third in a row and she definitely deserves a photo to remember in my blog.
In January 2018 I found two dumped kittens in the forest and named them Hugo & Boss. Both were very funny, sweat, full of energy and cuddly. Boss was hit by a car in September 2018 and today Hugo lost his life on the same tragic way.....and for your information......I live in a speed limited zone of 30 km/h. The worst thing is that nobody stopped to look after them!
Three weeks ago Wanda got a terrible headache and problems with her hind legs....from the beginning it was obvious that something seriously was wrong in her brains. Thanks to the vet and strong medicine she recovered for almost two weeks
Unfortunately after two weeks the symptoms on her legs returned and after some terrible epileptic seizures it was time to let her go. Last Wednesday she crossed the rainbow bridge.
I miss her a lot and our walks in the forest, our encounters with deers and other animals, searching mushrooms with her, searching caterpillars of the swallowtail with her....she always accompanied me and with her I felt safe. RIP my dear Wanda.
This morning started in an unknown area to search for the Queen of Spain Fritillary, with its large pearly spots it's one of the most beautiful European butterflies. I must admit that I thought that it would be much easier to find this species than it was. Finally, long after sunrise, we (I was 'en route' with Gerard and Frank) found five resting fritillaries which were well hidden in the shrubs.
Although we had to search long, it was a wonderful morning! After the last part of the field was lit by the sun, we returned to the parking area for a cup of coffee and home made 'Kuchen'.
Unfortunately two weeks ago my sabbatical ended and after four months of doing fun stuff I'm back to 'normal'. At this moment 'normal' means working and feeding caterpillars of the Swallowtail which is hard work as I found more than 100 caterpillars on one carrot field! From an other carrot field I collect fresh food and the last days I found there 25 caterpillars too. As the farmer told me that one of the fields will be harvest soon, I bring home every caterpillar to breed/release them.
Yesterday, when I came home from work, the first two butterflies were emerged so I tried to 'catch' them this morning with the rising sun but unfortunately I could not see any sunrise at all as my garden is surrounded by corn fields.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.