I followed the same procedure as every year and visited the first morning after arrival in Bayern (Germany) ‘my’ Dusky Large Blue spot and again a part of their habitat was gone. I searched for more than hour but I could not find any butterfly.
This morning I visited the spots near the Dreisesselmountains but the spotes were empty....besides no butterflies it was striking that on the flowers of the thistles I did not see a single resting bumble-bee. I decided to return to the Dusky Large Blue spot and finally I found my first resting butterfly on Great Burnet, a False Dusky Large Blue aka Small Heath:
A characteristic of the Small Heath is that he is mostly resting in a kind of twisted position and a 100% sharp photo is hard to realize (without disturbing the butterfly).
A few minutes later a found an other butterfly on Great Burnet and fortunately it was not a false one!
Unfortunately it is time to say goodbye to Germany. Last Thursday I visited the top of the Dreisessel area again and on my way back I visted one of my favorite spots and miraculously I found ONE resting butterfly, a Sooty Copper. Between my visits on Tuesday and Thursday again a butterfly spot (in years that I found them) had disappeared for the storage of trees.
Now it is time for a new adventure....tomorrow I will receive the keys of my new old house in France and a new chapter in life (with even less time) will start!
Because it has rained a lot last week, I was unable to visit the Dreisessel area earlier. This morning was the first opportunity to drive to the top and to use/test my new filters. As this is the fourth year in a row that I'm visiting this area I know exactly where I wanted to stand between the Willowherb. A few minutes after I had installed my camera and tripod I heard some strange music. Behind me on the rocks a woman was listening to indigenious music.....as I was focused on the beautiful red sky in front of me, I do not know if she was only listening to this kind of music or that she thanked mother nature for the rain.
Last year I found the Lesser Purple Emperor on my way back down. Not that I expected that kind of catch but after a long search it was time for coffee without any butterfly on my memory card.
The first morning after arrival in Bayern (Germany) I visited ‘my’ Dusky Large Blue spot and like last year I was surprised that again a part of their habitat was gone. Again all meadows were mown AND a big part with Great Burnet plants were gone (transformed into green grassland).
Only the plants near the road were saved and on them I found 9 Dusky Large Blues. One of the nine butterflies was an old one and after four years it was the first time that I found an old butterfly of this species….normally they live only a few days.
Last year I was complaining that the amount of butterflies in ‘Bayern’ was dramatically low…..this year I’m complaining again as till now I did not find any butterflies (except one Large Skipper) on ‘my’ other spots!!!!
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!
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.
The diversity and amount of butterflies in ‘Naturpark Bayerischer Wald’ is dramatically low this year. The wild meadows which I found in 2014 and 2015 have all been mown already and at day when the sun is shining I only see some whites species flying and on higher places the erebia species which were absent in 2015. The first morning after arrival I visted ‘my’ Dusky Large Blue spot and was surprised that the meadows near the road were mown until the road. In the last two years the metre near the road with a lot of Great Burnet plants were saved for the butterflies. Another meadow near the creek full with Great Burnet was already mown. But, after a long search I found ONE nausithous and TWO marbled whites.
My second and third visit were the spots near the Dreisesselmountains. Unfortunately a lot of trees had been stored in the little habitats where I found Coppers in 2014 and 2015. Due to the heavy weight of the stored trees the little habitats now looks more like a dessert; the flowers are gone and with them the Coppers!
Of course the farmers do their job like the foresters, but it's a pity that a region which called itsself 'Naturpark' do not care about their little wildlife!
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!
In my former blog I wrote that I did not find any Coppers, that was not completely true. During my first visit to the Dreisessel area, I found one old Purple-edged Copper. Due to his threadbare state, not worth mentioning. One week later I found the same butterfly again! I was really surprised as the weather had changed completely half way the week into stormy, rainy cold weather. He deserves respect that he faced these elements and earned a place in my blog!
At the same time I started wondering how it comes that this member of the Lycaenidae family reaches an age of weeks and survives stormy, rainy weather and other members of the same family, like the Alcon Blue, are that sensitive that they can’t defying this kind of weather?
Here is another beauty which I only can find at day/flight…….the Dark Green Fritillary. I searched in a lot of meadows to hope to find one resting specimen or other rare beauties….. regrettably without any success till today.
that tonight’s gonna be a wet night,
that tonight’s gonna be a wet wet night
I gotta feeling
that this year’s not gonna be the best butterfly year
that this year’s not gonna be the best best butterfly year
Although I have no reason to complain as I found two phengaris species (see my former blog), I’m surprised by the small number of butterflies here in the Bavarian Forest. Last year nearby the Dreisessel area, in almost every small meadow near the road and near the top of the mountains I found dozen of Ringlets (erebia species); this year I could not find ONE Ringlet. Last year I also discovered a spot with the very endangered Cranberry Blue and some Violet Coppers (see the chapter Bayerischer Wald); unfortunately no sign at all of any Coppers and Blues this year.
The only species which was resting faithfully on the same spot was the Nickerl’s Fritillary and again I catched this species with some reflections of the rising sun.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.