Wild Carrots and Red Admirals

Wild carrot flower bud

A first play with a new lens – the Olympus 300ml f4.0 pro. After a crazy circling autofocs experience I’ve updated my EM4’s firmware and can now focus without seasickness.  With a minumum focal range of 1.4m it works for less confiding butterflies. Yes its sharp. Yes you can get bokeh….

Wild carrot flower bud
Wild carrot flower seed head
Red admiral butterfly nectaring on garden privet hedge
Red admiral butterfly nectaring on garden privet hedge

Emerald and gold

Butterflies are having a bad year and are thin on the ground, so I have been entertaining myself with other little beasties. This beautiful, iridescent emerald-coloured beetle is a member of the flower beetle family with the name Oedemera nobilis. It has several English names too such as thick-legged flower beetle or swollen-thighed flower beetle, although only the females have the fat thighs. It eats flower pollen and nectar and is pictured on a common-rock rose.

Emerald thick-legged flower beetle on a common rock rose flower
Emerald thick-legged flower beetle on a common rock rose flower

Orchid delight

I was volunteering with Butterfly Conservation at Foxley Wood NWT recently and just had to stop and take a photo of the delicately coloured common spotted orchids that have done well there this year. Nothing common about them at all – very elegant and refined I’d say.

Common spotted orchid
Common spotted orchid

Raising a Yellow Flag…

Yellow flag, or yellow iris is a really beautiful native pond wildflower common in wetlands and marshes and is widespread across Norfolk. It can also make for a wonderful addition to wildlife garden ponds. It can become a little too vigorous in particularly favourable conditions so may be best grown in containers in smaller ponds or bog gardens. Fortunately mine has plenty of companion planting and competition that has so far seems to have kept it in check.

Yellow flag iris and wildlife pond
Yellow flag iris in our wildlife pond

Springtime in der Eifel

Spring has well and truly sprung with a couple of weeks of glorious weather in the UK and the continent. Here a small selection from a short trip to the beautiful Eifel Nationalpark on the German-Belgian border, with lush meadows dripping in springtime wildflowers and vivid dappled green woodland trails bursting with life…

Spring stitchwort flowers
White spring stitchwort flowers
Spring apple blossom
Spring apple blossom
Woodland path in dappled light
Woodland path in dappled light
Lush green springtime tree canopy
Lush green springtime tree canopy