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Blue Monday: Holly Blue

Holly Blue

Blue Monday: Holly Blue

This is my entry for the Fotospeed challenge this week. I was really thrilled to count eleven holly blue butterflies along a short stretch of the Thames, near Sunbury Lock, for this year’s Big Butterfly Count. It’s a perfect habitat for them with plenty of their larval food plants; holly, ivy and hawthorn. This is the second generation of hollies in flight this year, females will be looking to lay their eggs next to the emerging flower buds on ivy. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a third generation in flight this year!

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Lost Souls Swimming In A Fish Bowl

Lost Souls Swimming In A Fish Bowl

The lyrics from one of my favourite Pink Floyd songs, Wish You Were Here. I wish I could be back down there now, under the sea, weightless, floating into the blue, escorted by a flotilla of fish.

The diver you see here, surrounded by all those fish, is Darios from the Arian Diving Centre in Kardamena. We’ve been fortunate enough to do four dives with Arian this year while in Kos. The dives were split over two days, the first a new site for us off the little island of Strongili. Fantastic spot with stunning underwater landscapes, shimmering thermoclines and vast shoals of damselfish.

On our second day out we headed west along the coast of Kos to Santa Irini, where Mount Dikeos drops down in almost vertical cliffs and gullies to create an underwater landscape full of chasms, reefs and caves. Around the reef Darios feeds the fish and they flock to him! Moving through the waters with fish darting all around you, swimming side by side with them is the most wonderful experience. I can’t thank Arian and Darios, particularly, enough for these experiences! Simon and I learn more with each dive and Arian have helped us immensely on our journey as Open Water Scuba Divers.

We’re coming to the end of our holiday sadly but it’s been absolutely wonderful again! Kos is a beautiful island above and below the waters. I thoroughly recommend that you put it on your travel list! I hope you all enjoy these images and I bet you do now wish you were here.

For WexMondays photo challenge.

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ShareMondays2018 – The Dell

The Dell

ShareMondays2018 – The Dell

A multiple exposure with ICM (in camera movement) to convey the magic of bluebell woods for this week’s ShareMondays and Fotospeed challenges.

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Blue Monday: Poppy Anemone

Nodding Poppy Anemones

Blue Monday: Poppy Anemone

I found these beautiful blues in the Sunken Knot Garden, at Shakespeare’s New Place, in Stratford-upon-Avon this weekend. The gardens are entrancing; a combination of art, sculpture, the written word and planting that takes vistors on a journey around the grounds, that New Place once stood upon, and through the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare himself. This blue poppy anemone really took my breath away so I wanted to share it for this week’s Fotospeed challenge.

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Blue Monday: View From Floor 21

The View From Floor 21

Blue Monday: View From Floor 21

Blue skies over London as seen from the twenty-first floor of Guy’s Hospital Tower. When you’re having a complex dental appointment with the restoratative care team, a view like this is a great tonic!

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Blue Monday: Signs Of Spring

Blue Tit and budding Spring leaves

Blue Monday: Signs Of Spring

I returned to the carpark at RHS Wisley Gardens on Sunday morning after the snow had all melted. The fieldfare had all gone, presumably back to the orchard fields on the exposed hillside. Hardly any fruit remained on the trees out by the main entrance so most of the birds were around the side of the shop where staff have a number of feeders out. The blue tits were out in force and I really enjoyed watching them flitting in and out of the shrubs. After the recent cold, I was reminded that it is now meteorological Spring by the sight of fresh green leaves and buds on the branches. Hopefully this will be a bright contrast to many snow images in this week’s Fotospeed challenge!

Chaffinch

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Blue Monday: Colourful Corvid

Jay

Blue Monday: Colourful Corvid

Most people think of members of the crow family as being large, black and raucous. Whilst the Jay is not a small bird by any means, it is definitely the most colourful and shy corvid family member in the UK. It was a treat to watch this beauty in the Wild Woods at RHS Wisley Gardens last week, as I slowly wended my way back out from volunteering with Butterfly Conservation in The Glasshouse. That flash of blue on the wings of the jay is just as startlingly beautiful and iridescent as the wings on the Blue Morpho butterflies, flying in the tropical zone of the glasshouse at the moment.