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ShareMondays2019 – Jewel In The Grasses

Male Banded Demoiselle

ShareMondays2019 – Jewel In The Grasses

I’m taking part in the Wildlife Trust’s challenge 30DaysWild this June. The challenge is to do something wild every day! There are lots of ideas for exploring wildlife and nature on the website and app. I like to get outdoors as much as possible but, sometimes my fatigue stops me from doing much.

Having a lot of local nature reserves is a big help! If I can manage to spend just an hour or so at Wisley or Heather Farm on Horsell Common, I feel so much better, physically and mentally. It gives me the opportunity to survey the areas for the wildlife that I love and just to breathe fresh air and relax to the peacefulness and sound of birdsong.

This male banded demoiselle was my first challenge image that I shared straight to Twitter. Everyone has really loved it so I’m sharing it again today, with a wider audience and for the ShareMondays, Wex Mondays and Fotospeed challenges.

The females are quite stunning little jewels too!

Female Banded Demoiselle

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The Emperor’s Salute

Emperor Dragonfly

The Emperor’s Salute

My specimen might be a bit tatty around his wings but these male emperor dragonflies are the real spitfires of the insect world, fighting hard and fast over their territory. He almost seems to be saluting me but I know that this behaviour is actually about cleaning and protecting those incredible and complex eyes! This close-up view was captured in the late afternoon last week, when the tired fliers start to roost in the reed beds. I’m putting this into the mix for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge.

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Malachite Macro

Malachite Macro

Malachite Macro

One of the great joys of visiting a butterfly house is the ability to see large, tropical butterflies up close. Every single tiny and perfect detail of these beautiful creatures is revealed. The wings are a mosaic masterpiece of scales and hairs that will allow the butterfly to blend perfectly into its’ surroundings, or send a bold warning to potential predators. The malachite is a master of disguise but the macro lens allows me to bring you the finer details of it’s camouflage. This was taken at RHS Wisley Gardens last Monday while I was volunteering for the Surrey branch of Butterfly Conservation UK, helping man our stand in the Glasshouse, during the annual Butterflies In The Glasshouse event. I really enjoy engaging with the public at this event, sharing my passion for butterflies of the UK and Europe, as well as the tropical species. I’m sharing this macro for Wex Mondays this week and I hope it will inspire others to look more closely at butterflies too.

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Ready For The Close-Up

Dragonfly Macro

Ready For The Close-Up

I suspect that this dragonfly, at RHS Wisley Gardens, had only recently emerged when I found it yesterday. I wouldn’t usually be able to get this close to one! They have incredible eyes that take up most of the head, allowing them to see almost all around them and in higher definition than we mere humans could ever hope for. This is my entry for the Fotospeed challenge this week. Good luck everyone!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra

Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra

Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra

Michelle says “This week, share a photo that has a little something extra: an unexpected visitor, or a tranquil landscape with a splash of colour.”

For Father’s Day on Sunday, Simon’s daughter Charlotte wanted a chilled day out with us at RHS Wisley Gardens. It was a great day with a nice afternoon break at the café for tea and cake. The gardens are blooming, the birds are full of song and one visitor had brought along their African Grey Parrot for a walk, as you do!

Simon and Charlotte left me and my camera to it after a bit and carried on with their walk! The joys of going anywhere with a photographer! They’re very patient with me thankfully 🙂

Gracie is a thirteen year old Congo African Grey. These intelligent birds can live for fifty to sixty years so Gracie is still quite a young bird. They’re known for being great mimics but she wasn’t in a talkative mood on Sunday!

They’re very popular pets but anyone thinking of adopting one needs to be prepared for a pet that will be with you for the rest of your life and requires a lot of attention. Gracie is obviously a very happy and well cared for parrot! Meeting her was a wonderful and unexpected extra to a lovely day out 🙂

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Blue Monday: Forget-Me-Not

Blue Monday: Forget-Me-Not

Blue Monday: Forget-Me-Not

Also linked to Travel Theme: Close-Up and Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring

Who can resist a flower-bed filled with Forget-me-nots? Not me!