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!
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.
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!
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.
Thanks to my wonderful hubby, I now have a computer that can access all of my Topaz Software! I truly feel like I can paint again. This blue tit portrait was created from a photograph taken in Shropshire over the Christmas period and processed using tools in Topaz Studio and Photoshop. This is my entry for the first Wex Mondays challenge of the year.