Image

Transition

Transition

Transition

I’m fascinated by seed heads! I think these are the remains of verbena bonariensis (vervain), a tall purple-flowered plant that is loved by bees and butterflies. It was quite an ethereal sight seeing the twisting stems dancing in the breeze against the hazy clouded skies. I knew it would make a beautiful, minimalistic mono! The appearance of so many seedheads really heralds the coming transition of the seasons. Such a hot summer has sped up this transitional period! I think many of the insects will be greatly relying upon the late flowering plants, such as ivy, this year. If you’ve been growing verbena for butterflies this year, here’s a helpful link for how to harvest the seeds for next year. I’m sharing this image for today’s Fotospeed challenge.

Image

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!

Image

In These Burning Lands

Small Copper

In These Burning Lands

Wild Fire

In these burning lands
The only safe flame is the
One carried on wings

At Heather Farm wetlands centre on Horsell Common the grasses are reduced to dry, brown scrub. The waters are at the lowest I’ve ever seen. Flowers bloom and fade fast in this heat. There have been so many heath and grassland fires already this summer and I am very concerned about these precious habitats! It’s the Big Butterfly Count this week and while I am still seeing quite a good number of grassland specialists, like this small copper, I am worried about the laval plants that are so important for the next generation of butterflies. While the heat continues, please be very careful with naked flames, BBQ’s and cigarettes around parks, heaths, grassland and woodland. This is for the Fotospeed challenge and is dedicated to the fire-fighters helping to tackle these blazes across the UK.

Image

Blackcap In The Brambles

Blackcap In The Brambles

Blackcap In The Brambles

I’m sharing this second image of the juvenile blackcap, that I encountered yesterday, for today’s Fotospeed challenge. I haven’t had to crop these images much at all. I was so close to my subject I could hardly believe it! The blackcap was very aware of me and the numerous passers-by on the Thames Path, but was completely unfazed, gorging itself of the bountiful berries before hopping further up into the brambles to clean it’s blackberry-stained beak. I loved the way the light caught it’s face as it turned and stared straight down my lens!

Image

ShareMondays2018 – The Look Of Love

The Look Of Love

ShareMondays2018 – The Look Of Love

My little brother got married on Saturday! I have a new sister and she’s lovely. There’s really nothing else that comes close to this as a photo-of-the-week for me. That includes photos of birds and butterflies, I’ll have you know! All of them truly beautiful but THIS is the beautiful moment that I HAVE to share with you all this Monday, the looks of love and happiness as they shared their first dance. What more can I say really! Just that I’m so thrilled for you, Robin and Mo, I’m still buzzing from your wonderful WedFest and very happy that our family has grown once again.

Image

#ShareMondays2018 – The Three Stooges – #fsprintmonday

The Three Stooges

Three young swallows just barely fitting into their nest in Kos Town! We sat almost below them at one of our favourite tavernas on Saturday and they were cute and comical. Just had to share it with you all ūüėÄ

Image

Step By Step

Step By Step

A juvenile peacock keeping step with it’s mother in the forest of Plaka on Kos Island. Such a magical place with peacocks, cats, finches, frogs, terrapins and butterflies all living peacefully together in the shaded valley with it’s freshwater spring. We visited yesterday for a relaxing afternoon out before a busy day scuba diving today! I’m putting this into this week’s Fotospeed challenge as one of my favourite shots from the weekend.

Image

ShareMondays2018 – Evensong

Singing Wren

ShareMondays2018 – Evensong

Evensong
[ee-vuh‚ÄČn-sawng, -song]
noun: a service of evening prayers, psalms, and canticles, conducted according to a set form, especially that of the Anglican Church.
“choral evensong”

Seven o’clock, Sunday evening and the wren sings to the heavens. For this brief moment in time heaven surely did exist upon this patch of Earth. In the hedgerows, between the fields of wheat, blessedly bordered with grasses and wildflowers. I hear your prayer little wren. A plea to humanity to protect your habitat for generations to come. I hear you give thanks to the farmer who so tenderly looks after the wild borders around his precious crops. The abundance of life in this small paradise was a joy to behold! I revelled in the glory of the sights and sounds of nature in suburban Surrey.

Image

ShareMondays2018 – CAPTION COMPETITION!

Cian with parakeets in Hyde Park

ShareMondays2018 – CAPTION COMPETITION!

Three…two…one…GO!

Firstly, I must thank Cian for agreeing to let me use this candid image I captured of him, covered in parakeets, in Hyde Park on Friday. I hadn’t met Cian or his family before! If I am planning on posting recognisable images of complete strangers, I try my best to actually speak to them, get their permission and just explain what I am using them for. It’s a great way to start a conversation with people. Sharing a bond with wildlife is another fantastic ice breaker!

I was in Hyde Park, for some nature therapy, after a London Hospital appointment and followed the sound of parakeets toward what I assumed was a roost. Just through the trees a shady glade was filled with people, parakeets, laughter and smiles. Everyone was chatting and sharing bits of fruit or birdseed to offer up to the equally chatty parakeets. Hyde Park itself is a wonderful oasis in the big city but here, in this little glade, it was almost as if I had been transported out of London and into a jungle paradise. Here, within the city that never stops, where people are always in a rush, tempers are frayed and patience is just a card game, we all stopped and lost track of time.

I have so many different potential titles that I decided to throw it out there and see if any of you can guess any of mine! So here’s my challenge to everyone on WordPress and those also taking part in ShareMondays, Wex Mondays and the Fotospeed challenges. Gold stars to anyone who guesses correctly!