Thanks Feb

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.

Ha ha got you at last! A male Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) on a primrose

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.

Honey Bee approaching a wallflower, I can hear the auto focus complaining even now 😀

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.

Close enough? A Male Comma (Polygonia c-album) in the sun

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.



36 thoughts on “Thanks Feb

  1. I’m so happy to read about the joy the weather in February gave you and the images are as always fantastic. Love them all and I fully I agree with what the The Cedar Journal wrote, I do not like you to stay inside for two months! …and I’m pretty sure you don’t have to do that either.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d never seen a Comma until last year, in Spain, but they seem to be quite comman! Maybe I just never looked when I lived in the UK. My interest in butterflies started when I spotted an Apollo in the woods behind where we live. It’s still one of my favourites. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mike the Comma has a very interesting history. In the late 1800’s the population crashed and it was restricted to the Welsh border. In the 1960’s it started to re-colonise the Country, and today it has reached Scotland. The chances are that as you were growing up the Comma was not in you area.
      An Apollo, wow! Such a beautiful butterfly, you’re very lucky.


  3. Ever consider giving classes on macro photography? – definitely skilled in the art of the small. You can practically feel the textures in these shots, especially the Comma in the last shot. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks B, I’m still learning myself! I was reading a blog the other night with the most amazing macro bug shots, the guy was describing his lighting set up he made himself, insane! What amazed me most was he used a bridge camera with enlargers on the lens and all shots were of live insects in the field. That’s dedication.
      Oh yeah, I love that Comma shot as well, just got the right angle to get the sunlight coming through the wings and all the background colours compliment it.

      Liked by 1 person

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