Last Tuesday it was the last day with summer temperatures and again I noticed a fresh Provence Hairstreak around the accommodation. Near the house a lot of small marguerites are flowering and the Provence Hairstreak likes them a lot but when I approached her (it was a female) with my white umbrella she disappeared immediately. So I placed the umbrella above a part of the highest flowers and waited...and waited....and then she came. She granted me two photo's...as you can see her left frontleg is in the 'flying away position' and she is moving her hind wing...ready to take off again.
A second butterfly species which I loved to photograph is the Spanish Festoon (Zerinthia rumina); every day I saw one or two flying but finding them roosting was an other thing. Yesterday we were driving through the hills into a nature reserve; in a beautiful valley we took a break and immediately I saw a Spanish Festoon flying around. Soon I saw more and counted four butterflies; after seeing them flying around for almost one hour there was a good chance that they were local flyers in that part of the valley. Although the weather forecast was not that good this morning we drove to the same spot to search for the Spanish Festoon and within a few minutes we found all four of them within a few meters roosting at/in bramble bushes:
Unfortunately our holiday is over and tomorrow we will driving back home...fortunately with beautiful memories and photos!
In the higher parts of the hills we discovered, actually my friend did, a spot/area with a lot of Provence Hairstreaks and the good thing about this spot/area is that it is accessible. Having access to meadows in this area of Spain it's almost impossible as everything is in private hands and behind high fences. During the first week we drove around to search for butterfly meadows but we did not find them, almost every square meter of land is in use for cattle and fenced. Only small parts near roads and paths are available to search for butterflies even in the higher part of the hills.
The area where we found a lot of Provence Hairstreaks is fenced as cattle is grazing but fortunately still accessible. As this species is roosting in bushes the only way to photograph them is at day when the sun is shining. The females of the Provence Hairstreak loves it to sit low at the ground and it is very difficult to make a photo without disturbing material in the back or foreground (and there is a lot when cattle has been grazing). Fortunately the males are often sitting higher to look after a nice female.
Next to the Western Dappled White the Provence Hairstreak is the most common butterfly at the moment in this region; especially on the higher parts of the hills. With 5 days left some more Provence Hairstreaks will probably be photographed!
Last Saturday I arrived in Spain; we rent a beautiful house in the hills outside Madrid. After many many years seeing photos on the internet of the Provence Hairstreak (and never found it in the Provence) I had the wish to see and photograph this species. I knew that this species was seen years earlier a few hundred meters from our accommodation so there was a chance to see this little butterfly.
As our accommodation is situated a little higher on the hill and as near the house his larval foodplant is growing we placed the garden couch nearby and waited with our binoculars. After two hours sitting and watching I was fooled by two Small Coppers but suddenly I saw some glittering green on the wing....very quickly I get up and searched and searched but the little butterfly was gone.
Today, we were just waiting again on the couch when a Provence Hairstreak visited the low vegetation. With an umbrella I created some shadow and for some minutes she was sitting like she was roosting....when I moved the umbrella and the sun touches this little beauty she was gone immediately!
Unfortunately I did not see a second one and this afternoon we made a walk through the area and I noticed a lot of larval food plants but no sign of other Provence Hairstreaks.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.