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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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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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ShareMondays2018: Chasing Butterflies

Brimstone on azalea

ShareMondays2018: Chasing Butterflies

There’s nothing quite so wonderful as chasing Spring butterflies around on a warm, sunny day! Brimestone butterflies were definitely in full bloom in the woodland last Friday. Seeing them dancing around the pink blooms of azalea was glorious and a perfect encounter to add into this week’s ShareMondays challenge.

Brimstone in full bloom

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Pause For Perfection

Comma on blossom

Pause For Perfection

This comma butterfly really did make me pause to enjoy it’s beauty in the bright, Spring sunlight. The lighting brought those wings to life as it posed on the tree blossom on Battleston Hill at RHS Wisley Gardens. Such joy! I just have to share this perfect moment for Wex Mondays today. Good luck to everyone entering!

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Blue Monday: Colourful Corvid

Jay

Blue Monday: Colourful Corvid

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.

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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.