For weeks, even months I was longing for spring and suddenly it was summer and within a week nature has changed completely. On Thursday evening I checked an area nearby and found out that the majority of the Cuckoo flowers are on their return and instead of Orange-tips I found eggs.
On Friday morning the weather was ideal (no wind at all) photographing butterfly eggs (with the MP-E 65mm) on their larval food plants. On the small fresh buckthorns leaves I found eggs of the Brimstone.
The interesting thing was that three females must passed this buckthorn bush and they all liked the same leaves/places as I found three eggs under the same leaves.
After a busy working day, it's now time to relax and prepare my trip to the Eifel together with some members of the Palinka club. I'm in the mood for some German butterflies, food, beer and conversations. Es geht nichts über die deutsche Gemütlichkeit!
When I came home today, I noticed that two more Brimstones were born and in contrast to other butterfly species the Brimstone enjoys very slowly his new life....time enough to take some photos before I start to clean the car, pack my bag and camera stuff.
A few days ago, I saw some adults 'old' Brimstone butterflies in the forest, two males and a female searching for nectar between the flowering brambles. Yesterday, their first offspring emerged while I 'm still finding 2nd stage caterpillars in the forest. This year the deviation in caterpillar stage is much bigger than last year due to the cold period in April.
I can't wait to see more offspring and other butterfly species!
Nature it's on her best at the moment! Next to birds, deers also butterflies giving 'birth' to the next generation. Wherever I look, I find caterpillars, their enemies and other little creatures!
Wanda (my shepard) hates them....actually not them but me walking slowly through the forest and searching for them. In almost every Alder Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula) caterpillars are living:
Unfortunately all the caterpillars of Red Admiral which I found in my garden were parasited. When I unfold the nettle leaf I noticed an opening at one cocoon and a few minutes later I witnessed the emergence of a parasitoid wasp. The newborn wasp flew to a higher nettle leaf and allowed me one image before she flew away to search for new victims:
There's a new world coming
And it's just around the bend
There's a new world coming
This one's coming to an end
There's a brand new morning
Rising clear and sweet and free
There's a new day dawning
That belongs to you and me
Yes a new world's coming
The one we've had visions of
Coming in peace, coming in joy
Coming in love
© MANN, BARRY / WEIL, CYNTHIA
This morning Landgoed de Utrecht was the meeting point for the members of the 'Palinka' club to photograph wood anemones and to enjoy the first sunlight. It was the first time since my backache five weeks ago that I tried the favorite low macro position again.
Later, while enjoying a cappuccino with a piece apple pie, we discussed the finishing touch of our trip to France in June. After some members have left, we returned to the wood anemones and we were just in time to 'catch' a female Brimstone. It's my first butterfly picture of 2016! Probably the next picture will follow soon as in the afternoon I noticed the first Holly Blue and I received the message from a friend that some Orangetips has been seen today.
Instead of mushrooms I photographed butterflies today. The majority of the Red Admirals will fly to the Mediterranean area to hibernate but some them stay here and try to survive the winter. Although there are still some flowers most of the remaing butterflies can be found on Common Ivy. Common Ivy has become a nuisance in my garden but the butterflies are using it for all kind of purposes. Can you find the butterfly in the next picture?
Without knowing that a butterfly is hibernating between the Common Ivy, you will not find or seeing him as he (actually it's a she) became invisible!
Snow and frost was forecasted a few days after I wrote my last blog but unfortunately the only frost I noticed was the thin layer on my windscreen.
At the moment we have a typical Dutch winter with a lot of rain instead of snow and I don't mind if spring temperatures will arrive soon so that I can use my camera again.
Until then, I cherish the memories I have of the last summer like the many Brimstones which I tried to catch in flight. The Brimstone is a butterfly which hibernates outside well hidden and he will appears as one of the first as soon as the temperatures are rising.
I can't wait to see the first Brimstone of 2014!
Long time ago Marilyn Monroe was singing that diamonds are the girls best friend and I think that she was right.......every female creature needs her own bling bling:
Yesterday I found out that the Spanish word for butterflies is mariposas.......what a beautiful and tender word for ‘my’ beloved insects! More than 20 years ago I visited Spain a few times but for other purposes than mariposas.
Since weeks we have summer temperatures in the Netherlands and fortunately the summer species are doing well at the moment. Yesterday we reached 35,5 °C!
The only bad thing is that the nights and early mornings are too warm and dewless; the butterflies are active very early and it’s almost impossible to photograph them.
So, the last days I photographed some species at day. A large amount of Gatekeepers is ‘populating’ my direct surrounding; too much to count! The Gatekeeper is a very active, more nervous, butterfly so sometimes I wonder who ever came up with the name Gatekeeper? This Gatekeeper flew away from me (I think I’m scary) very early but happily to a place where the first sun lighted up the background beautiful.
Two days ago I suddenly noticed a lot of yellow butterflies on Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). More than 10 hungry Brimstones were visiting this plant and I tried to photograph this butterflies with open wings at flight (they never rest or sit down with open wings). To catch them flying and to get a decent photo was very difficult. It was very windy and the flowers were moving too much; despite a quicker shutter time I did not get the photo which I had in mind. I also noticed that the background of most of the photos is terrible so I have plans for a new Lythrum location.
Yesterday evening I had a nice visitor; a Small Tortoiseshell (talking about names........). In the Netherlands a very common butterfly but in my direct area a rare guest.
Mariposas are lovely and I'm curious what the next days will bring!
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.