Sunday, 13 April 2014

Bee Flies, Bluebells and Not One Sodding Pic Of An Orange Tip!

The merest mention of the word 'butterfly' in this house sends L into the kind of groaning amateur dramatics display that really should win prizes, illicits nervous glances from F and J (who are too polite to tell me what they really think), and produces generally Strained And Pained 'time to gird my loins' grimaces from M.

I do not understand this.

I think looking for butterflies is one of the most exciting things you can do with a warm, wind-free Sunday, and I have told them all to prepare for Butterfly Excursions Aplenty this summer. They are over-joyed and can barely contain their excitement.

(In a Parallel Universe).


I have been reduced to bribing M with the promise that he can run home from whatever location I have dragged him to in order to Look For Butterflies. This is what happened today. I went hoping to get some shots of Orange tips, and there were plenty about, but not one of the damned things actually settled, with the result that I spent an awful lot of time running after flutters to no avail whatsoever.

M sat down by a tree to watch the show and promptly got accosted by Ted who jumped on him without warning and licked his face. Poppy  decided she couldn't bear to let me out of her sight and accordingly scampered and crashed noisily through the bluebells and dog's mercury after me, which had the effect of sending the few flutters that had briefly touched down to sun themselves swiftly back into the sky, thus rendering photography utterly hopeless. She also rolled in Fox Poo for good measure. The whole outing was summed up by M putting his hand in fox poo too, not realising that he had and using the affected hand to wipe his face. I didn't notice, gave him a kiss to say thanks for being patient and got fox poo on my lips. 

I could taste and smell the stuff all the way home. It was about the Most Revolting car journey I have ever had, not helped by the bag of dog s*!t in the boot. 

All in all I managed to catch two flutters, neither of them remotely Orange.

Peacock on a log

And on a bluebell

Brimstone on a pile of logs

Sunday's Regulation Walk With Grumpy Teens took place in the water meadows around Salisbury where (in between L trying to push me into a) the river, b) mud and c) dog poo and me retaliating by strangling him, at which point he started shouting about Child Line much to the amusement of several Passers By who, judging from their Expressions Of Sympathy And Understanding, were parents too), we saw these little darlings.....

Ducklings

Daddy?
Harnham Mill, along the way, is beautiful and ancient and evocative of Times Past, even with a hundred people dressed as Pirates running past on some fund-raiser event for breast cancer....

Harnham Mill
We got Two For The Price Of One in terms of walks with the kids by also dragging them out to see the Bluebells which are carpeting the woods in Great Copse....

Ancient Woodland


I get teased a lot for taking pictures of grass. I have tried to explain to My Heathens that I am not, in fact, taking pictures of grass, but instead the Interesting People who live among the grasses. This next shot is a case in point, I feel. Had I not be crawling about on my knees in the undergrowth I would have missed these baby 16-Spot Ladybirds.....


And indeed this 7 Spot Ladybird....


It all Falls On Deaf Ears and affords them Much Hilarity at my expense.

They were laughing on the other side of their faces when I found this Bee Fly, warming up on the baked earth by the side of the path through the woods.... Just look at that proboscis! Completely Harmless though.

Bee Fly
 We went up to the Down to check the sheep on Saturday and found Evidence of Summer Approaching....

Old Cob Nuts on the Beech giving way to New Leaves

Cowslips Flowering

Oil Seed Rape In Bloom




I've been back to check my tree, the one that I am following this year. He's an Oak (Quercus robur). So far, little change from a couple of weeks ago, but it won't be long before the leaves start to show through...
 

Dandelion Clocks were in evidence...


And (just to add insult to injury) so were at least three Orange tips, who flew past, wobbling across the air pretending they were going to stop for something to eat and therefore oblige me with a photo, only to chortle with laughter and fly on Somewhere Else. Grrrrr.

Still, at least one flutter was kind to me today. This Speckled Wood flew low over the table as we were all eating lunch outside today, prompting shrieks from me and a gallop indoors to fetch the camera followed by a gallop up the garden (with Pop in Hot Pursuit) to see if I could find where it had landed..... Success! 

Speckled Wood
I think I'll take the hint and be content with the wildlife we have at home, all of whom seem to be used to me and not mind when I crawl on my belly to get their picture, despite the howling gales of laughter coming from my family.....

Hope you've all had a Lovely Weekend.

CT :-)

23 comments:

  1. Oh dear, it sounds as though you have been having quite a time of it trying to get some flutterby pics! Those 16 spot ladybugs are amazing though, I have not seem them that colour! Hope that you have better luck during the week. xx

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    1. Hopeless today, but at least I saw lots of Orange tips. Just need to encourage a few into the garden.... :-)

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  2. I love that Bee Fly! I don't think I've ever seen one (knowingly). OB isn't that interested either but will feign interest for about two seconds.....it won't last once he hits 13 I'm sure. xx

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    1. I loved the bee fly too- they hover and buzz :-) x

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  3. Lots of lovely photos of spring where you are. I'm sure you'll get a photo of the Orange Tip in the end. Last year the Brimstone defeated me but they've been posing for me this spring. I'd especially love to take a photo of a female Orange Tip this year, which probably means I won't get one!

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    1. I got a very poor photo last week on the phone and assumed it would be easy with the big camera.....not so far! Oh well, will keep trying. I did at least see the female orange tip as well- a first for me.

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  4. What a great post, so glad you called by... I love how you write and as a bonus it is about nature. Have been trying for years to get a Orange tip, I so want to see a Bee fly... I have zoom on my camera not good with insects... Everything looks a bit further on with you, still a bit cold up here in the North....
    Amanda.

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    1. Hi Amanda and thanks for the follow too :-)

      Glad you enjoyed the post and hope you get to see a bee fly before long- fantastic creatures. As to the orange tip photos, they definitely weren't in the mood here today, perhaps later in the week one might oblige....if my family haven't revolted and refused to accompany me by then! CT :-)

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    2. Thank you for following my tree blog, which is one of many blog lists I have !!!! , if you are interested they all come together on my main blog http://thequietwalker.blogspot.co.uk/
      Amanda xx

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  5. We won't see rape seed, here renamed canola for some reason, until July. It's a lovely sight. Our snow has only just melted this last week which is rather depressing so a while yet before we see signs of spring.

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    1. The oilseed does seem to be early here, but then we had such a mild wet winter everything is further along than you'd expect. Snow is a distant memory for us from two years ago. Still, I think we could have done with a proper cold snap just to balance the seasons out.

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  6. I love this - you cover so much ground and find the greatest treasures. The kids used to love going on our "Nature Outings" or Nature Walks or just a Walk About to discover whatever Nature had for us to discover. Then we would sit in a field and draw our adventure and make a story out of it. My Mother did the same when we were kids. I would for sure - join you on a nature walk. Lovely Post.

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    1. Your nature walks with the kids and story telling afterwards sound lovely- what a special thing to do together and I'll bet they have very fond memories of them.

      It's a pity we don't live nearer re going on nature walks together- just an ocean in between :-)

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  7. Orange Tips aren't easy to get photos of in my experience :( Managed a few once at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens but never in the garden!! Love the Bee Fly - have been looking for one of these here without success!!

    Can empathise totally with families and their lack of interest in butterflies. I think I've mentioned it before but there was one memorable incident on the IofW at Newtown NR when I was convinced I had spotted a hairstreak and was chasing it round trying to get a better look. When I eventually gave up I realised the family had not only disappeared but when I returned to the car park the car had gone too and husband had driven off in a mood. I had a long wait before they returned :(

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    1. I saw another OT in ma's garden this afternoon. That one didn't stop either. I think they are doing it on purpose ;-)

      On the plus side- loads of fluttery people in our garden today AND another bee fly! I am utterly enchanted by them and hope you see one soon.

      I couldn't help but have a little chuckle at the tale of your OH driving off and leaving you. I know you've told me it before but it is just as funny the second time. I suspect I'm not far off being on the receiving end of similar treatment this summer!

      We are planning a wildflower area where the chicken's house used to be- when I told L this he groaned and said he'd been planning on using it as a basket ball court! x

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  8. I do hear tell that Fox pooh upon chapped lips is a most excellent country remedy.....it does not cure the affliction, but it bloody well stops you licking them!

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    1. I can personally testify to the accuracy of that ole' country remedy... :-)

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  9. Oh dear what you have to go through to find an orang tip. The taste and smell must have been awful, I don't have to use too much imagination as dogs are very attracted to that awful smell! The bee fly must have be a small compensation from your weekend nature hunt. Sarah x

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    1. It was THE MOST revolting experience Sarah. I should be used to it by now, but I'm not :-) Is Daisy a roller? Ted seems to have grown out of it, whereas Pops is just getting started :-(

      The bee fly was superb and I've since seen one here at home- fantastic little creatures x

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  10. Well done of catching these shots, butterflies are so hard to get! Lots of bees in the garden but not so many butterflies so far. That bee fly looks scary. Have you seen the Facebook page of Cornwall Butterfly Conservation, it's very good and some fab images of caterpillars too https://www.facebook.com/CornwallButterflyConservation
    Sorry about all that fox poo......!

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    1. Thanks for the link Suze, I'll check it out. Bumblebees a-plenty here and the flutters did well yesterday at home too. Better pictures here than anywhere else! x

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  11. HI CT Wow! Your Bluebells are out and wonderful shot of them. Great to see so many butterflies and ladybirds and the ducklings are gorgeous.

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    1. Hi Margaret. Yes, we're doing well for flutters here so far- how are they doing in Ireland? :-)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x