Tricks of the light
Yesterday evening I found again a butterfly on dandelion in my garden so my alarm clock went off early this morning. Because there was a strong wind I built a kind of wind-protection-wall with crates....unfortunately the wind came from the same direction as the sun was rising that I capitulated after a lot of unsharp photo's. Some later I saw the first reflections of the sun in the window of the chicken shed and after a look into my viewfinder I started photographing again. Fortunately I have some sharp images and while I was editing these files I was listening to a masterpiece of music from Mike Oldfield which brought me back to 1984.
It’s been a strange year sofar.
January gave us the feeling we would finally get our “normal” share of winter weather.....but it did not really happen. February gave us the feeling like we were skipping February and March altogether giving us dry sunny weather with temperatures reaching 20 degrees C at the end of the month (who says’s climate isn’t changing…)
And now we’re in the 2nd week of March and it feels like we’ve jumped back to October, lot’s of rain and wind gusts up to 110 km/h. Yesterday I was out with some friends taking pictures of mushrooms.…and the wind almost swept us of our feet.
I can’t help myself for developing a deep longing for actual April/May weather..fresh mornings with plants(and insects of course) covered by a nice layer of morning dew. The sun rising..clearing a bit of fog, and taking my camera-equipment out in search of resting butterflies. Nothing lifts my mood more than that.
But for the moment….I’ll have to do with just the results of such days going thru my photo-archive enjoying the memories they bring back...and a good cup of coffee.
That’s not bad either but I’m counting down the days. Let’s hope April lives up to my expectations…....
Text and potos are copyright protected by Gerard Jordan
Oops! ... I did it again
I already miss them, the sunrises which gave me the impression that summer is still around. After a rainy night with a lot of thunder, I found this damaged Green-veined White in my garden and observed if the cloud cover would allow the sun to say hello. Fortunately she did, just for a minute and due to the high humidity she was still orange when she appeared above the pig-stable.
Now that my butterfly bushes are out of flower most of the butterflies are gone. My garden feels empty without them and a little bit I'm already longing for the next butterfly season!
Autumn is certainly getting close and I love the beautiful colder mornings with some fog, definitely when I knew a butterfly had choosen my garden to stay overnight. The only species which are sleeping visible (in my garden) are the white species but due to their autumn enemies they are already rare and hard to find. As you probably have noticed from my former blogs I love it to catch the reflections of the sun around sunrise. But since a week I can not see the sunrise/the reflections any longer as a result of a new huge pig-stable. And the bad thing is that the farmer plans to built some more huge stables which will pollute the majority of 'my' horizon. Unforatunately there is nothing that I can do against it.....except waiting much longer for the sun.
When the sun finally had passed the top of the stable roof, the sunlight was too hard to catch it directly. Fortunately there still was some fog near the ground and for some minutes the light conditions were magical. I'm longing for more of these kind of magical moments!
Five days ago I wrote 'one second on the wrong place and your life can be totally different'; fortunately that story will probably have a happy end. Unfortunately this does not count for the portraited butterflies below. Last Monday my garden was full of butterflies when I came back from work and I was very happy to see a lot of freshly emerged Peacock Butterflies (as I did not see this species this year before). Yesterday the majority was gone and very soon I found out who was responsible for this decrease:
It's SPIDER TIME!!!
A little introduction for the non-Dutch people: AH is the abbreviation of Albert Heijn which is one of the biggest supermarket chain in the Netherlands. In February and March this year, for every 15 Euro, I received some vegetable seeds to create my own vegetable garden.
After a lot of caretaking, I now have a lot of tomatoes and all stages of all Dutch white species. Their favourite of all vegetable/cabbage plants is broccoli. They ‘adore’ the leaves and some caterpillars have no problems with devouring all yellow flowers of the broccoli.
A nest of about sixty caterpillars of the Large White I found in their third skin; a few days later I decided to take them inside and feed them on my kitchen table.
After almost a week I found out that none of these caterpillars was infected by the White Butterfly Parasite (a wasp with the name Cotesia glomerata). That is a remarkable fact as normally a big part of the caterpillars is parasitised.
A second notable fact was that the caterpillars did not accept little branches or other dead natural material which I offered them; a big part of the caterpillars pupated in a group on the plastic of the insect box and the other part on the green broccoli leaves. Fortunately one caterpillar transformed into a pupa on a day I did not have to work (see sequence 1).
In the meantime I found an other caterpillar nest of the Large White on broccoli and some new eggs of the Green-veined White and/or Small White but they have to survive outside as I have no more space available on my kitchen table!
Last Saturday it was one of the most beautiful mornings.....a cold night with some frost, a foggy morning and a red sunrise.....and I was on my way to Utrecht for my study. No photos but undergoing an examination; fortunately I passed it.
I had the intention to go out this week to visit the cuckoo flower area and search for other butterflies and dragonflies but I’m that kind of tired that I stayed around home.
As I did not have time for gardening activities, my garden transformed into a wilderness which is beautifully flowering at the moment with Garlic Mustard, Annual Honesty and Forget-me-not.
Almost every evening I find some resting common butterflies. I’m not photographing them all but sometimes the common one’s have something special and than they are ‘mine’.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.