Everything has to come to an end.....two weeks holiday in the Bavarian Forest went by too quick unfortunately. The days that the weather was not against me were rare. I enjoyed the few mornings when my alarm clock went off early and with good music on Bayern 3 it was a pleasure to drive to the butterfly spots which I had discovered.
The first spot was a small field near the road to the Dreisessel mountain in which I found a lot of erebia’s, some Nickerl’s Fritillaries and Purple-edged Coppers and to which I returned just in time to catch one of the two sunrises of my two weeks stay.
Later I found near this spot the very endangered Cranberry Blue and some Violet Coppers (see the chapter Bayerischer Wald). The second spot which I visited three times were the Dusky Large Blue area (see my both former blogs).
The Dreisessel and the mountain tops nearby have some remarkable ‘hedgehog’ look because of the aggressive ( they attack and kill live trees) bark beetle.
I had the plan to visit the Dreisessel area very early before sunrise but due to a lot of rain and/or fog my plans will move to 2015 when I will return to the same accommodation/area.
It’s not often that I return to the same place, but Bayern and especially the people I met were special! And, last but not least the area is beautiful and has a lot of rare (endangerd) butterfly species to offer.
Long time ago, I heard about Farm Lator, the ‘hot spot’ for butterflies in Hungary which is located at the foot of the Bükk Mountains. Last year I received an invitation to join a group of passionate nature photographers and for a week and recently I travelled to Hungary by car. Together with Marielle, Hans, Ed, Mees, Debbie, Jacco, Frank and Gerard, I enjoyed a wonderful week with a lot of fun and beautiful nature encounters.
The first morning I had the mission Clouded Apollo and within a minute Jacco found an old and damaged specimen. In the absence of a ‘better’ apollo I photographed this oldie which represents the charme of faded glory.
Some later Ed and Hans entered the meadow and two more apollo’s were climbing up to warm up. A few days later I entered the same meadow again but the Clouded Apollo’s were gone.
During my stay I counted 53 butterfly species and as the temperatures were rising, day by day more butterflies emerged. On the first day Gerard showed me a yellow chrysalis which probably was a brenthis species but we did not exactly know which one. On Friday the 13th Marielle witnessed the ‘birth’ of the butterfly and we found out that it was the Marbled Fritillary (Brenthis daphne).
An other big surprise was the discovery of a Large Copper which I found in the evening with a lot of wind. I decided to skip an other trip the next morning and returned together with Marielle to the area with the Large Copper. Just that morning it was cloudy and due to one big and dark cloud we had to wait extra long before the sun came out to show the brilliant coppery colour.
Next to all the beautiful butterflies we also found some Stag Beetles, snakes, lizards, a dormouse and on the last day as dessert the Rosalia longicorn.
More photos can be found in the Gallery A -> Z under Hungary.
Unfortunately the week went by too quick and I’m looking forward to our next trip together!
First, I would like to thank everybody for the fun and nice conversations we had together and especially I would like to thank Gerard and Frank for their efforts to make this possible!
Finally summer arrived in the Netherlands and when I woke up this morning I had to think about a friend from long time ago and how things sometimes develop in life. In that days I was singing ‘Gold of day memories change me in these times’ and never realised how true this is. Friends come but the majority is leaving again and when I was younger I was often disappointed as sometimes for me it did not make sense. Growing older I learned that everybody is bringing a kind of gift but that sometimes you had to let them go to grow as human being. Like the song said ‘Somewhere there is some place, that one million eyes can't see. And somewhere there is someone, who can see what I can see”.......Someone, Somewhere in Summertime.
Two days ago I met someone.......a male Cockchafer, a Dutch one on my Geranium. For two days he was ‘living’ on my Geranium; I think that he did not know that Geraniums are not his kind of food plants as he had a thin stool.......so I choose to photograph his front ;-).
Brilliant days, wake up on brilliant days
Shadows of brilliant ways will change all the time
Memories, burning gold memories
Gold of day memories change me in these times
Somewhere there is some place, that one million eyes can't see
And somewhere there is someone, who can see what I can see
Someone, Somewhere In Summertime
Someone, Somewhere In Summertime
Someone, Somewhere In Summertime
©Simple Minds/New Gold Dream (album)
Unfortunately I had to leave the Dordogne and one week of jogtrot of life passed by already. Two weeks of holiday were too short to photograph all the things I liked to and to clear up my mind and find some rest.
Every morning when I was out early and photographed resting butterflies, I was accompanied by the beautiful sound of the Golden Oriole. Every evening at least four Tawny Owls were calling and, sitting under the roof with a glass of wine, I also enjoyed the little night creatures like a lot of moths, spiders, field crickets and cockchafers which were attracted by the light.
The male cockchafers were flying uncontrolled and with a lot of power against the two lights, lying helpless upside down on the ground and after minutes climbing up again and repeating their kamikaze flight to the lights.......I think that some of them were suffering from concussion.
The next weeks/month I need to study a lot for my two examinations at the end of June so I will not photograph much until the summer holiday. Due to my study activities I will take a little break which means that I do not exactly know when I will have time to write for this blog.
Last Sunday, after I returned from the black Cartierheide, it became a beautiful day with a lot of sunshine, the first butterfly (Brimstone) of 2013 and a little red bug.
Very often, the little things in life are precious.......like this ladybird on a flower.
Enjoy the little things in life
and one day you will realize
they were the big things.
While I was busy photographing a moth on a beautiful coloured leaf I noticed something shiny. In a dry rolled up leaf at least five mint leaf beetles (Chrysolina menthastri) were resting after a cold night. They were waiting for the sun to warm up and getting active again. As soon as the nights are getting too cold they will search for a suitable place to hibernate.
In the meantime I arrived in Germany in the forest region which I visited this spring, the Teutoburger Forest. The beeches are coloured orange and yellow and after a short inspection of ‘my area’ I found some remaining flowers of the autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale). Unfortunately at the moment it is too stormy and wet for photographing anything but as soon as the weather will calm down I will go into the forest to search for photogenic and eatable mushrooms.
In the past week a lot of little creatures like butterflies and dragonflies, disappeared. Some of them I find again in spider webs. That’s the circle of life.....eat and be eaten!
The European Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) is the most common and well-known spider. The females are much larger than the males and the females are the web builders. On the web or in a nearby leaf they are waiting for prey to get entangled in the web. The prey is then quickly captured and wrapped in silk before being eaten.
Here a grasshopper jumped into the wrong direction.....as the spider was sitting nearby on a leaf it looks like the grasshopper committed suicide.
The catch on this image was an Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis).....you can see that this beetle used his defensive chemical (yellow/orange stuff) isopropyl methoxy pyrazine. When agitated, they releasing it from their legs.
I’m a bit concerned about the absence of butterflies in the nature areas which I visit regularly, no Common Blues, no Small Coppers, no Map Butterflies, no whites....no resting butterflies at all....it’s really disappointing and my desire for my trip to France is growing day by day!
Fortunately a lot of Beetles are walking around at the moment....Cockchafers, Garden Chafers, Longhorns and a lot of Soldier Beetles. Normally Soldier Beetles are very active and they disappear immediately by the time a part of my tripod is visible.
This morning I had some luck and I found a resting and very cooperative Soldier. First I photographed the beetle with my ‘normal’ 180 mm macro lense and although there was some wind I mounted my special macro lense, the MP-E 65 mm. The first picture is taken with 180 mm, 0,5s at F10 and the second picture is taken with 65 mm, 1,3s at F13 (zooming factor around 2 ½).
As you probably know, I grew up in Berlin. At the age of six I went to school and in my time it was out of the question getting to school by car. Every day, if it was raining or not, I went to school by walking and I remember, although I was living in a big city, the fascinating living creatures which I found in the hatches on my way. Every springtime I collected Ladybugs and Cockchafers and allowed them a march on my hands and arms....Cockchafers were very easy to find as they were sitting or lying slow on the ground.
On warm evenings in May they are flying against windows and street lightning’s.....BANG.....scrambling and flying again.....BANG.....scrambling and flying up again.....BANG.....my pets love them when they are lying helpless upside down on the ground for a while.
A few days ago I found a resting (or dizzy) Cockchafer. By the time I was ready to take the first photo the little guy (yes, it’s a HE) became active and started climbing up. I was too late resetting my camera into the right aperture......with a loud buzz noise the Cockchafer left the flower.
Canon 7D; tripod; remote release; 180mm, 1/125s at F5.6 and ISO160
Although only his eyes are sharp I post this image in my blog as tomorrow I will drive to my beloved city of birth. I will walk on the streets where I walked as a little girl and enjoy the warm memories which I cherish.....and I’m sure that I will find some Cockchafers!
Although the weather was not really inviting for a photographic trip, I returned to the Strabrechtse Heide a few days ago. I was surprised by the tremendous amount of mushrooms and the decay of the remaining black trees. On many of the black trunks the bark was damaged or gone. Due to the strong wind of the past week a lot of trees have fallen down and blocking the footpaths.
When I was lying on the ground photographing some mushroom growing in the black earth I noticed a red spot. I was surprised (as it is winter) that it was a Ladybird, resting or hiding from the wind between the massive black bark. I also found a spider (which unfortunately ran away), a second Ladybird resting on a rusty can and some flowering Heather…..it’s crazy!
Photographing Ladybirds is always a challenge as their shield shines and reflecting everything; they ‘re like a little mirror. So please smile when photographing a belle Coccinelle!
Portfolio -> Strabrechtse Heide
Canon 7D; tripod; remote release; 180 mm, 1s at F13 and ISO100
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.