Saturday, 25 April 2015

A - Z Challenge 2015 - Butterflies 'V'

V - Vanessids, Viceroy

A vanessid is a butterfly belonging to any of several brightly coloured species including the Red Admiral (R), Tortoiseshells (T) and the Camberwell Beauty, which with Fritilliaries (F & Q) comprise the Nymphalides.


Camberwell Beauty
The name for this rare migrant to the British Isles originated from the discovery of two individuals at Coldharbour Lane in Camberwell, South London in 1748 which were believed to be stowaways from Scandinavia.

Now commemorated on a road sign on Denmark Hill
Appropriately the photo of the Beauty was taken at the Valkmusa Natural Park in Finland.

Many of you will recognise this butterfly (also seen under M)

Monarch Butterfly
If you are wondering why I'm showing this again it's because of another butterfly that mimics its appearance. 

Viceroy Butterfly
Apparently the Monarch is unpalatable; by mimicking the Monarch the Viceroy hopes that birds will leave it alone. I wonder what happens when the bird has never seen a Monarch.

Do other butterflies with eyespots on their wings have a better chance of survival?


Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

I feel it when you're with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Your laughter brings me sunshine
Every day is spring time
And I am only happy when you are by my side
How precious is this love we share
How very precious, sweet and rare
Together we belong like daffodils and butterflies

Photo attributions:
  • Camberwell Beauty: Valkmusa Natural Park, Finland; 20 Aug 2007, by Kymi - CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Camberwell road sign: geograph.org.uk, by Paul Farmer - CC By-SA 2.0
  • Monarch on a Penta: October 2011, by A Yee - CC BY 2.0
  • Viceroy (Limenitis archippus): Mer Bleue Conservation Area, Ottawa, Ontario - 1 August 2009, By D Gordon E Robertson - CC BY-SA 3.0

Friday, 24 April 2015

A - Z Challenge 2015 - Butterflies 'U'

U - USA Butterflies 

I get the chance to photograph butterflies whenever I visit my daughter's home in Michigan. However her dogs do not cooperate as I'm expected to hit tennis balls for them to fetch whenever I'm outside.

Unfortunately the butterflies I see like the flowers on the bed of chives which is where golden retriever, Lily, hides her stash of balls.

I have successfully identified three species but am left with two that I have not traced so far.


Silver Spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on chives
This is claimed to be the most recognised skipper in North America.


The Red Spotted Purple (Limentis arthemis) or White Admiral mimics the poisonous Pipevine Swallowtail; I haven't seen one of those.



Red Spotted Purple (aka White Admiral)

The third butterfly that I am able to name is the -


Pearled Crescent (Pyciodes tharos) on the chives
Then comes the one I hope someone seeing this will be able to tell me what it is.

Any ideas?
Another where we can only see the underside is much plainer. Can anyone help me?


Unfortunately Lily drove it off before I could see its upperside.


Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

I feel it when you're with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Your laughter brings me sunshine
Every day is spring time
And I am only happy when you are by my side
How precious is this love we share


(Someone early yesterday morning was the 200,000 visitor to my blog; thanks to you whoever you were and the other 199,999 over the years.)

Thursday, 23 April 2015

A - Z Challenge 2015 - Butterflies 'T''

T - Tortoiseshell butterflies.

Of the two Tortoiseshell butterflies  it's the Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urtica) that is the most common and found throughout the British Isles,

It's one of the first butterflies to be seen each summer. We saw the first one this year on 5th April.  The buddleia is a favourite plant.


Two Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies in our garden
Small Tortoiseshell
Its orange colour with brown, black, yellow and blue markings are unmistakable.

It will quite happily share a flower with a bumblebee.


From the underside there is no hint of its colourful appearance.


The Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorox) is similar in appearance but is usually only seen in Suffolk and north Essex. There is little chance of my getting to photograph one.


Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

I feel it when you're with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Your laughter brings me sunshine
Every day is spring time
And I am only happy when you are by my side

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Where you work - Thematic Photography

Not an easy theme when you have retired. If I said where I work is in the house, this might be challenged. Anything I do at my computer is classed as 'playing.'

I guess that where I work must therefore be restricted to outside in the garden - quite a pleasant occupation at this time of year when it is sunny and warm. So here's some shots from today.

With one or the other and often all three the 'day's work' starts here.

Wheelbarrow, (hidden tool store) and garden shed
In  the front garden - 

The green waste bag awaits
and waits along with - 

A fork
It must have been warm for that coat to have been discarded. Perhaps I was waiting for my female assistant.

Mrs Blackbird
It's a good thing that she will work for the minimum wage of a worm or two with this lot to tackle.

Shrubs to trim and snowdrop leaves and weeds to remove.
Can you see that flowering dandelion?

Of course there's the lawn to cut

And sycamore seedlings to take out of the gravel
You might think that this is not much of a task but the sycamore count has passed 170 in the last week. There will be more tomorrow.

Then of course where I work will move to the back,

Back lawn
If you are eagle-eyed you might just see the toe of the lady of the house who is lapping up the sun.

All this is a world away from where Carmi works at Thematic-photographic-334.


A - Z Challenge 2015 - Butterflies 'S'

S - Speckled Wood, Swallowtail

The Speckled Wood we see frequently in Yorkshire but the Swallowtail in the British Isles is confined to wetland areas of eastern England.

The Speckled Wood is another of those butterflies that visits our Butterfly Bush, As it always seems to be on the move its difficult to photograph, however I caught up with one elsewhere on a shrub in our garden.



Speckled Wood (Pararge segeria) on Euonymous bush

The Strumpshaw Fen nature reserve  in Norfolk managed by the RSPB is one of the few breeding sites for the Swallowtail.

Swallowtail (Papilio britannicus) at Strumpshaw
The Swallowtail is the largest resident British butterfly with a wingspan of 8 - 10cm.

I've yet to see one. Until yesterday at least; but the ones I saw at Butterfly World at Preston Park in Eaglescliffe where tropical Swallowtails.


Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

I feel it when you're with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Your laughter brings me sunshine
Every day is spring time

Photo attribution:
  • Swallowtail: RSPB Strumpshaw Fen, geograph.or.uk, 11 June 2007, by Janet Richardson - CC BY-SA 2.0

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A - Z Challenge 2015 - Butterflies - 'R'

R - Red Admiral, Ringlet

The Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) appears in Europe, Asia and North America. It shares our Buddleia bush with Peacocks, Tortoiseshells and White butterflies. 

My photos of it in Yorkshire are all on the golden yellow rose we planted for our 50th wedding anniversary some years ago.




Red Admiral
The one I photographed in Michigan in 2010 had to make do with the tyre on a tractor.

Red Admiral
There is no mistaking its striking dark brown, red and black wing pattern with orange bands crossing the forewings and on the outer edge of the hind wings.

Vladimir Nabokov, also an amateur lepidopterist, featured the Red Admiral in his novel Pale Face - I shall have to read it sometime.

The Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) is a brown butterfly found all over Europe. This female was photographed at a site of special scientific interest  (SSSI) - Hurcott Wood, in Worcestershire.

Ringlet Butterfly
I must confess that the few I've seen on brambles have been a darker brown than this.

Female Ringlet Butterfly
On the underside there is no mistaking the black eyespots rimmed with yellow. You are much more likely to see it like this as it rarely exposes its brown upperside.

Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

I feel it when you're with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Your laughter brings me sunshine

Photo Attributions:
  • Female Ringlet at Hurcott Wood: 17 July 2008, geograph.org.uk by Max Fascione - CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Female Ringlet: Sandy Bedfordshire, uploaded by innotata, by Ogangeaurochs - CC BY 2.0

Monday, 20 April 2015

A-Z Challenge 2015 - Butterflies 'Q'

Q - Quercusia quercus, Queen of Spain Fritillary

I thought I was going to be stuck with the Queen of Spain that I mentioned under 'F'

Then I came across Quercusia quercus. I thought initially that this had something to do with the tree on a postage stamp from Great Britain


The English Oak - Quercus robur
It turned out that the place to see Quercusia quercus, aka the Purple Hairstreak, is fluttering in woods round the crowns of the oak and ash.

Purple Hairstreak Butterfly
It has nothing in common with that purple hair rinse that's favoured by some ladies I'm told.

Female Purple Hairstreak
It's the female that has those permanently purple patches; the upperside of the male is brown but may show a purple sheen from some angles in bright sunlight.

My longstop for Q has always been the - 

Queen of Spain Fritillary
It has light spots on its underside that shine like mother of pearl.

The Queen of Spain is a migratory butterfly which flies from Southern Europe to England in favourable years.


Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

I feel it when you're with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Photo attributions:
  • Purple Hairstreak: Alners Gorse, Dorset, 3 August 2013, upload by tm, by Ian Kirk - CC BY 2.0
  • Queen of Spain Fritillary: 13 June 2011, by Gail Hampshire - CC BY 2.0