Last Sunday I was 'en route' with Frank & Gerard again and we visited the same area as one year ago to search for the Queen of Spain Fritillary. We knew that the chance finding one of them was low. The first hour we did not find any living creature at all. But then we entered a meadow and found the first of 15 Small Coppers.
It's remarkable because the evening before I found two coppers roosting nearby my home and during my stay in the Vosges earlier, I photographed this species a few times. It looks like the third generation has better conditions than the first and second one!
Unfortunately all of them were roosting on places where it was impossible to catch them with the first or last warm light in the background. So I waited to catch them with open wings:
Although I found them in four different areas they had one thing in common....they were all roosting on brown/dead flower buds for optimal camouflage!
The second month of my sabbatical went by very quickly and I'm halfway through. After a trip to the Eifel (see my former blog) I'm in the Vosges now for almost three weeks and I'm enjoying fresh butterflies every day.
It all started with some Black-veined Whites and Heath Fritillaries followed by the False Heath Fritillary, Marbled White, White Admiral and Marbled Fritillary. While I'm sitting inside (it's too hot outside) and writing this blog, the first Lesser Purple Emperor and Silver-washed Frittilary came by.
Five days left in the Vosges and I hope that I will 'catch' the Emperors again!
Last Friday the world transformed into a white fairytale after I left Liege. Driving through the High Fens was not a punishment (normally this highway is boring). Near Nancy the snow was gone and it was exciting if there would be snow in the Vosges.
As soon as I left the highway, the forest was covered by a thick layer of snow and it was magical arriving at the house under these circumstances.
When I stepped outside the next morning to photograph this setting, a sign 'Attention Chasse en cours' was placed a few metres in front of my house and a lot of hunters + dogs were very busy finding/tracing wild animals. I was forced to stay near the house until the 'çhasse' was finished.
By that time the sun had climbed over the hill and the first snow started melting.
I was impressed by the atmosphere of the path/road to my house and installed my tripod on it, normally I do not see anybody for days. Exactly at the moment I pressed the shutter button, I heard a noise (actually 'bonjour') and a jogger ran into my picture.
During my two weeks stay in the Vosges I granted myself one 'free' day after the big 'colour the ceiling white' job was done. It was autumn and the first trees were already leafless but catching this mood with the camera is an other thing. On my way back from a walk throught the forest part behind my house, I saw Laurel and Hardy and immediately I cheered up, first because I loved the light situation and second because Laurel and Hardy made my laugh when I was a child.
About three weeks ago my 'holiday' started with a trip to my birth town for a reunion of 'my' primary school class and ended with a two weeks stay in the Vosges. The weather in the Vosges was fabulous in the first week. With temperatures above 20 degrees a lot of jobs have been done outside......like cutting the bramble bushes. After this job was done my son discoverd a little snake between my house and the path. The little snake was a grass snake who is living in a hole of my housewall; during my complete stay the snake stayed on the same place. Taking a photo of the snake without brown cutted bramble branches was a challenge but after some attempts/days the snake was not using his 'reverse' immediately when I came closer.
Last weekend I was in France as some repair and a lot of paint jobs needs to be done at the house. The weather was great and I started with sanding the weathered front door and bench followed by putting a coat of primer on. Although the previous owner told me about Grass Snakes around the house I did not believe that they would be around with that kind of noise.
Yesterday morning when I inspected my paintwork I saw a dark earthworm in the corner of my house/terrace. When I came closer I noticed that it was a little snake but not a Grass Snake...as the snake disappeared within a few seconds I was not sure which species it was!
One hour later, I noticed the snake in the split of the terrace wall and took my camera.....with my macro lens I looked into the split and noticed one.....two.....three snakes heads.
When I looked aside I saw an other little snake between the tiny flowers which were growing over the terrace .....I immediately asked my children to pay attention to that part of the terrace.
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.