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Blue Monday: Opening Up

Holly Blue composite

Blue Monday: Opening Up

I couldn’t resist creating this composite from the images I captured of a female Holly Blue butterfly, opening up her wings in the warm sunshine! The rich, golden stone of The Cotswolds really set off the intense colour of the upperside wings. I am including a gallery of the individual images and a haiku based poem inspired by the joy of finding a blue with her wings open!

Holly Blue

Little holly blue
My eyes long to view those bright
Sky-hued upper wings

My heart sings with joy
When the sunny skies bring out
Your very best side

A sapphire jewel
Sat upon the Cotswold wall
A golden setting

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Blue Monday: Enchanted Pathway

Enchanted Pathway

Blue Monday: Enchanted Pathway

A magical sight waited for us in the woodland yesterday, where a group of us gathered to celebrate a good friend’s birthday. I followed the track dividing the woodland plots and discovered that the bluebells were taking over the rutted track, once used by man and machine, now given back to nature. I’ve added this sighting to The Woodland Trust‘s online survey of bluebell woods, helping to build a national picture of the locations of our native bluebells. Sightings of hybrid and Spanish Bluebells can also be added to the Big Bluebell Watch, to help with conservation management. This is also my entry for the Fotospeed challenge this week. I expect bluebells will be featuring heavily again this week on their twitter feed and I just hope that everyone can feel the magic in my capture.

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Blue Monday: Spanish Belles

Spanish Bluebell

Blue Monday: Spanish Belles

I photographed these Spanish Bluebells in my parents garden on Easter Sunday for my Blue Monday post and entry for Fotospeed’s weekly photo challenge. The Spanish Bluebell is very pretty but as a non-native species has become an increasing threat to the native British Bluebells in our woodlands. I’m hoping to capture some of those beauties soon! One of the ways that the Spanish variety has been spread to woodland areas has been in the ilegal fly-tipping of garden waste. They can be cross-pollinated with the native species creating hybrids that change future generations forever! Please be careful with your garden waste this year. More information can be found at The Woodland Trust.

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Blue Monday: Holly Blues In Spring

Holly Blue Butterfly

Blue Monday: Holly Blues In Spring

These last few weeks of warm, sunny weather have brought out many of our native butterflies and they have been delightful! The Holly Blue is the first of the British blues to emerge from overwintering pupae in the Spring generation. They stay high in the trees most of the time and you have the best chance of seeing them near holly trees, where this generation will lay their eggs. The late Summer generation, hatched from these larvae will, in turn, lay their eggs on the ivy to complete this wonderful cycle! I finally managed to get close to one as it sunned itself, lower down on brambles, at Dapdune Wharf on the Wey Navigation in Guildford. It refused to open those beautiful, little wings but you can still see the silvery-blue of the undersides.

Holly Blue Butterfly

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Blue Monday: Lapwing Dance

Lapwing Squadron

Blue Monday: Lapwing Dance

Blue skies, with a bit of moody cloud, provided the perfect backdrop to the spectacle of two male lapwings, dancing in a display of prowess for the prospective females watching below on the nesting grounds. My composite image shows all the moves these beautiful birds went through during their display and is my entry for today’s Wex Mondays challenge. The one thing missing from the image is the distinctive sound of the lapwing’s call, a loud peewit peewit, that carried clear across the wetlands of Pulborough Brooks RSPB Reserve in West Sussex. I grew up calling lapwings by their colloquial name, taken from their call, Peewits. One of my favourite birds ever and a real treat to watch on my birthday last week!

Lapwings

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Blue Monday: Bumper Batch Of Blue Tits

Blue Tit all puffed up

Blue Monday: Bumper Batch Of Blue Tits

Spring has got all the birds in a flutter! I had so much fun watching the blue tits last week that I decided to process a bumper batch for this week’s Blue Monday. I hope you enjoy their antics as much as I did!