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Blue Monday: Circle Of Life

Mating Damselflies

Blue Monday: Circle Of Life

It’s been a truly amazing week! Simon and I have been hard at work completing our PADI Open Water Diver courses. Wednesday saw us at Wraysbury Diving Lake, dropping to depths of around eleven metres, to perform particular skills underwater and enjoy a bit of exploration around some of the sunken objects that can be found at this popular dive centre. As a trainee, I couldn’t take my camera down with me but there was plenty to see around the lakeside too! These mating damselflies were perfectly poised to capture the moment that the female (below) accepts the sperm from the male (above), by looping the end of her abdomen upwards, while he grasps her behind the thorax with the terminal appendages of his abdomen. Together they form a heart shape with their slender bodies. This image of love is my entry for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge.

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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

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Blue Monday: Butterfly Kisses

Doric Longwing

Blue Monday: Butterfly Kisses

The Doric Longwing butterfly has the most wonderful markings. The beautiful blue open wings and what looks like a lipstick kiss mark on the underside. Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

Goldcrest hovering in flight while feeding

Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

I think one of the most graceful sights in all of nature is a bird in flight! From the smallest; our little goldcrest, who flits about so quickly among the trees and shrubs it’s hard to keep track of them, to one of our largest; the grey heron, with a giant wingspan that allows them to soar for miles traveling between bodies of water. I can never tire of watching birds in the wild! This weekend I will be doing my bit to help the RSPB collect data that is so important in conservation work, The Big Garden Birdwatch. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing this weekend, perhaps you can find just ten minutes to stop and watch the birds too!

Graceful Goldrest

Graceful Grey Heron

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Blue Monday: Wings Of Wonder

Blue Morpho Butterfly

Blue Monday: Wings Of Wonder

Sadly, Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor has lost her internet provider for her home and cannot carry on hosting Blue Monday. I am considering offering to host it here but would like some advice on simple linking tools from anyone else who hosts a challenge! Also, who would be interested in sharing beautiful blues to help brighten up the day?

It’s now the second week of Butterflies In The Glasshouse at RHS Wisley Gardens and my blue images today are of the amazing Blue Morpho. This is one of the most popular butterflies at the event due to it’s size and iridescent blue wings. The butterflies open their wings in the sunshine to warm themselves and the light reflects from the tiny scales covering the surface. They become more vibrant depending on the strength and angle of the sunlight.