..not much going on here these days, is there? Oh well, here's an Aquilegia Nora Barlow looking pretty in a bit of sunlight at the weekend.
So, last night was, as usual spent with Zee, her brother and I composing semi-cryptic clues for this morning's Egg hunt for the girls. This year Ess (Zee's brother) had suggested they be not just semi-cryptic but also rhyming couplets.
Two and a half hours, and a few bottles of wine later we finished.... as you can imagine the clues became more and more obscure as we imbibed more and more alcohol. Still, we must have got them about right as it took the girls the normal ten minutes to complete the hunt and whilst they puzzled over some for a while, they never got stuck completely.
Then onto planting potatoes up t'allotment where we bumped into the first Peacock Flutterbye of the season and also a fleeting Brimstone but she was too busy to stop for a photo. These two species are further flutterbyes that over winter as adults and hence are amongst the first to be seen come spring.
...just because we don't seem to have had any Blue Tit photos recently and this one was cheekily grabbing his early evening snack only two foot away from me.
Zee has finished work for the weekend so the Spring Festival starts now..... have a good one!
We'll stick with the flutterbyes for a bit longer I think. You don't often get to see the underneath of a Comma's wing do you? Yet it is here that we find the characteristic little white shape that gives it its name. With the exception of this little white mark the wing underside does give the creature a very good camouflage and one can easily see how they stay hidden over the winter amongst leaf litter or on the bark of a tree. I only spotted this one as it had flown past me before settling with wings together... and even from a couple of feet away still very hard to spot, as you can see (or not!). As I only saw one Comma again yesterday, I thought it was the same one as Thursday but a closer comparison of the two photographs suggests maybe not (better shot today though). Oh well, I hope they met and mated to give us lots of little punctuation marks later on in the year. I also ran into a single Tortoiseshell who also wanted to show you his under wing camouflage... not bad though not, I think you'll agree, as good as the Comma's (though it might have worked better if he he hadn't been sitting on some very green nettle leaves!).
I will get back to the skiing photos... almost certainly. In the meantime today's London sunshine lured me up just up the road into the beginnings of Epping Forest to St. Peter's Pond where many of my favourite flutterbye and dragonfly pictures are usually taken come t'summer. Within seconds of padlocking my bike to the "No Fishing Yet" sign this colourful chap (a Small Tortoiseshell) had fluttered past clearly wishing me to follow away from the water. Within a few seconds I'd lost him in the grass but lo behold what had he brought me to but this lens cap which I'd lost up here last summer. I suppose its location must have somehow been placed into his racial memories by his ma or pa. Whatever, what a nice flutterbye, eh?
Obviously I realise that it's not really because it's a nice flutterbye.... clearly it's genetics.. it is a major evolutionary advantage to be nice to photographers who promote the beauty of the Papillonic species. So there. As well as this Tortoiseshell also spied one Comma and a Heron feasting on frogs.
So, here we are again. Back home.
I trust everyone had a good weekend. Mine was mostly wonderful with, as you can see from the picture above, some glorious weather. I'm not sure what the peak pictured is called... I can only tell you I took it yesterday morning from a chairlift traveling up one of the other Alps. There's a lot of them you know. A fuller update may follow later... but it won't be as involved as the last Skiblog. (I was conscientious then wasn't I?).