#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Knitting Needle
The healing garden
Fractured pieces of our lives
ShareMondays2020 – Winter Warmer
Finding myself vitamin D deficient once again I am trying to get out into the sunshine as much as possible! I spent an afternoon at Bushy Park last week, soaking up those precious rays and watching the wildlife. It was so mild I ended up shedding my big winter coat. It was fun watching the deer and wrens in the bracken near Heron Pond, before heading over to the Woodland Gardens for sunset and a cuppa at the cafe.
Signs of an early Spring were very evident in the Woodland Gardens! Watching the parakeets feasting on cherry blossom is a sight I don’t usually see for another two months! Just as the sun was setting at around half four, I came across one of the resident rabbits. I was really surprised to see one out of the warren at this time of day and year! The rabbits here are more used to people walking by and I was able to get really close to it, capturing the details of the fur and even a reflection of the sunset in the rabbit’s eye. The leaf litter in the background glowed in the late light and this little rabbit just stole my heart!
ShareMondays2019 – Fade To Grey
Dragonflies are usually quite short-lived, maybe only a week. Often an over-mature, older individual will be fading in tone and colour. This is an over-mature female black darter dragonfly found yesterday at Thursley Common NNR. It was resting on the sand, soaking up warmth for energy. Unlike many of the other dragonflies seen yesterday, this individual allowed fellow photographer Paul and I to get up really close with our macro lenses. I believe it stayed put for so long as it’s trying to conserve as much energy as possible in it’s old age. What a privilege though!
I was instantly struck by it’s fragility and faded colours. Black darters are our only truly black species and mature males are very striking, deep black with a few flashes of yellow. They’re also our smallest species of dragonfly! This individual had become parchment-like and translucent. The blacks had faded to blue-grey and brown tones while the eyes had become much lighter in tone and were strikingly beautiful. There really is a haunting beauty in the ageing of many winged insects that strikes a chord with me. It made me think of the Visage song Fade To Grey:
Feel the rain like an English summer
Hear the notes from a distant song
Stepping out from a back shop poster
Wishing life wouldn’t be so long
Aaah, we fade to grey (fade to grey)
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!
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.
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.
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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Photographic diary of flora and fauna in the United Kingdom. Written by paulfarnfield.com
NATUR - HIGHLIGHTS - SÜDSTEIERMARK - KUNST trifft NATUR
Birds, Animals, the Occasional Dash of Whimsy and lots of Pictures.
by Sam Allen