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ShareMondays2018 – Summer Has Flown By

Summer Has Flown By - Southern Hawker Dragonfly

ShareMondays2018 – Summer Has Flown By

A beautiful, male southern hawker dragonfly, fiercely protecting his territory, at RHS Wisley Gardens, in the warm sunshine yesterday. These hawkers are dragonflies of Autumn, seen into October and occasionally even November. I’m sharing this beauty for this week’s ShareMondays2018 and Fotospeed challenges.

Cusp

Summer has flown by
In the mere blink of an eye
Autumn colours reign

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Dive! Dive! Dive!

Dive Dive Dive - Common Tern composite

Dive! Dive! Dive!

This composite of a common tern, performing an aborted dive at Thorpe Lake OWS, is for Wex Mondays and dedicated to my Dad. When Mum and I are out swimming with the birds and fish, Dad stays on the lakeside, keeping a watchful eye on us and our feathered friends. Can’t wait to dive back into the waters of the lake tomorrow in this crazy, hot weather!

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ShareMondays2018 – Emerald

Downy Emerald Dragonfly

ShareMondays2018 – Emerald

Downy Emerald Dragonflies are found mostly in the South of England. They’re on the wing now at Thursley Common National Nature Reserve. I was able to watch a number of them flying around the edge of The Moat Pond next to the reserve car park. They’re very territorial and quite mesmerising to watch, darting about with the metallic greens and golds flashing in the sunlight! I’m sharing this image today for ShareMondays2018 and the Wex Mondays challenges. Good luck to everyone taking part!

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Angels Above Me

Tern Triptych

Angels Above Me

I have been watching these beautiful terns at Thorpe Lake, where I do my open water swimming, from the shore and from the waters, wanting to capture their beauty and elegance in flight. I decided that the best way to achieve my goals was to take my toughened Olympus out swimming with me! This pair are nesting on one of the pontoons that divides areas of the lakes. Over the last few weeks I have seen them take to the air whenever a swimmer, or the other lake residents, come anywhere close to the pontoon. I have absolutely reveled in these aerial acrobatics, performed right above me as I glide through the waters. A couple of times I have turned onto my back and floated, gazing up at these angels. To capture these images last week I trod water for a while so that I could turn more easily and track their flight with both hands on the camera. I can’t tread water for long without using up all my energy, so it actually helped that terns fly fast and low! I ended up with three images, that had both male and female in the frame, and just couldn’t pick a favourite to enter into this week’s Wex Mondays challenge, so I created a tern triptych. I will post all three of the images for you to check out individually. Perhaps you will have a favourite?

Common Terns in flightCommon Terns in flightCommon Terns in flight

I’m also posting this as part of the WPC: Ooh, Shiny! Pretty much anything with wings distracts me, as those of you who follow my work, or come out on photography trips with me, know already 😉

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Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

I was so entranced by beautiful Robyn, the Hooded Vulture, that I was inspired to create this piece of digital art AND write a new poem! The plight of these incredible birds is not one that makes the headlines. They’re not as cute and fluffy as some other critically endangered species! You can read more about this in my earlier Blue Monday post. To raise awareness of the decline of the Hooded Vulture, I’m sharing this image for Wex Mondays this week.

Dark Angels

Dark angels
Navigating stormy skies
Scanning the vast landscape
With steely eyes
Seeking out the
Earthly remains
Of departed souls
Laid out upon the plains

Angels descend
A winged canopy
Encloses the carcass
Last rites in ancient ceremony
Feathered funeral cortege
Gathers without
Regret or remorse
Guardians of the dead
Carry away the corpse

Angels ascend
Rising on broad wings
Circling above the expanse
The wind sings
Of their passing
Above the clouds
Dark and heavy with rain
That shrouds
Their dispersal amongst
The heavens

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Fastest Food In The World!

Woking Peregrine Adult and Juvenile

Fastest Food In The World!

The Woking Peregrine Falcons have successfully raised five youngsters this year! It’s been amazing to watch their journey unfold on the live cameras situated by the nest box. This is only the second year nesting here for these adults, so to raise all five of their brood is really quite something! The juveniles have fledged and all five have been taking to skies over Woking Town to learn how to hunt at around 200mph. These are the fastest animals on Earth! At the moment the adults are leading their young on high speed chases, baiting them with fresh caught food and trying a few food passes in flight. The adult in this image has a pigeon for the juveniles. This is my entry for Wex Mondays this week as it was just the most incredible thing to watch.

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Chasing Dreams

Male and female brimstone butterflies in a mating dance

Chasing Dreams

I spent a lovely afternoon at RHS Wisley Gardens yesterday, wandering through the pinetum and woodland areas, chasing butterflies. The woods in the pinetum are full of native bluebells. Their importance as a food source for butterflies and other insects was so evident in the number that we spotted! I found six different butterfly species in and around one small area of bluebells. Brimstone butterflies were by far the most numerous! They delighted us all with a dance of love, as the more vibrant males competed for the attention of the paler females. Pure magic! My featured image, of the male and female dancing together, is my entry for this week’s Fotospeed challenge. I’m including a gallery of all six butterfly species below; comma, large white, brimstone, green-veined white, peacock and speckled wood.

Male and female brimstone butterflies in a mating dance