The last two weeks of February were an absolute joy. The totally unexpected spring like weather lifted my spirits and got me out with the camera again. Not only photographing the birdlife I encountered on my days out, but also out in the garden where I could use the macro for the first time this year.
It was lovely being in the garden. With everything pruned, weeded and mown I could just relax into the therapy that is trying to image bees in flight! This is fun, however the af of the macro does not see the funny side! Photographing the butterflies was also a bit of a challenge. The male Brimstones would enter the garden, search the ivy for any emerging mates, then zip off over the roof. On a day I didn’t have a shift at work I could spend longer observing things. This was excellent as I discovered there was a small period when the Brimstones stopped to nectar on the natural primroses in my flowerbeds. Just had to be in the right spot as they only paused for a second or two to refuel.
There were many types of bees all being, er, busy. Their flower of choice was the winter heathers (Ericas), the pulmonaria (lungworts) were only just starting to bloom, but they would investigate any likely source of nectar and pollen.
In all during the fabulous fortnight we had three species of butterfly in the garden. The last to appear was a Comma. The first day he (definitely a he, very territorial) showed up he was very flighty, I just could not get close. After a couple of days he either became very friendly or thought if he let me take a few snaps I would be out of his face! Whatever I got the images I wanted. The Comma was not interested in nectar but sought out the warmest places where it could eye it’s domain, when another entered the garden one day a frantic chase ensued.
Well it’s now March and the weather is back to how it should be, wet and windy! but thankfully not cold. Looks as if I shall have to creep back inside for another couple of months.