More Butterflies and Wild Celery

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Orange-tip butterfly on Dame’s Violet.

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As you can see, I was quite taken with the combination of a male Orange-tip and the Dame’s Violet flowers. Ii was Whitsun half-term and I was on my way to Trowbarrow Quarry to look for Fly Orchids. It has become something of an annual ritual – every year I go to look for them and every year I fail to find them. This year I had a good excuse, because apparently, due to the exceptionally dry spring, Fly Orchids were only very short this year. And they’re pretty hard to spot at the best of times. Well, they must be – I’ve never found any anyway.

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Green-ribbed Sedge again? Maybe.

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Broad-bodied Chaser.

I’m not sure whether Broad-bodied Chasers are the most common dragonflies in the area, or just the easiest to spot and photograph because of their habit of perching on the end of a stem like this. This is almost certainly a female – males begin their adult life yellow, but rapidly turn blue.

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B had warned me that Trowbarrow would be busy. He wasn’t wrong. The photo doesn’t really show the extent of it because there are plenty of hidden corners here, and a lot of the visitors were climbers on so out of sight on the quarry-face above. There were lots of picnickers, families on bikes and the afore-mentioned climbers. All seemed to be managing to enjoy the sunshine whilst maintaining sensible distancing. Still, it was a bit of a surprise after it had been pretty quiet for so long.

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Female Common Blue butterflies and Northern Brown Argus are very similar to each other. Both should have orange spots around the edge of their wings, which were lacking in this case…

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After consulting this excellent guide, I had decided that this was a Northern Brown Argus, because the long thin body suggests that this is a male and also because of a missing ocellus on the underside of the upperwing. But then I saw a photo of an almost identical butterfly labelled, by someone who I think knows better than I do, as a female Common Blue. So…..I’m not sure!

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Rock Rose.

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Male Common Blue – no such confusion.

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Bird’s-foot Trefoil.

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Common Twayblade. 

If I didn’t find any Fly Orchids, I did at least come across  some Common Twayblade, growing very tall and apparently defying the dry conditions.

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It was a hot day and the sheep had the right idea.

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Guelder Rose in the hedge on Lambert’s Meadow.

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Wild Celery near Jenny Brown’s Point.

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I think this is the plant from which both celery and celeriac were cultivated, but is not one for the forager since it is toxic. The same is true, apparently, of wild almonds. I’m always intrigued by how our ancestors could have managed to domesticate poisonous plants. Why would you even try, from such unpromising beginnings?

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Quicksand Pool.


For no better reason than that I’ve been listening to reggae all day whilst working, three favourites of the genre…

‘Street 66’ by Linton Kwesi Johnson

‘Funky Kingston’ by Toots and the Maytals.

‘This Train’ by Bunny Wailer.

More Butterflies and Wild Celery

14 thoughts on “More Butterflies and Wild Celery

  1. I agree with Conrad. You’re pictures of the butterflies etc are stunning. Did you use a macro or telephoto lens, and I presume shutter rather than aperture priority and multi shot.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Thanks Alan. I used telephoto, the macro setting on this camera is not much use. As for the setting – I have the P mode, so pretty much automatic, set up so that the autofocus is based purely on the centre of the image. It works well in good light. The camera’s default is to prioritise setting the aperture to 2.8 wherever possible, which is why I chose this one, my old superzoom, which had a brilliant macro setting, but was falling apart, wouldn’t allow the wider aperture settings as you used larger telephotos lengths; this one allows 2.8 through the entire range.

        1. beatingthebounds says:

          Not at all, Panasonic FZ200 – quite old now and has almost certainly been superseded by something which connects to the internet, edits your photos for you and makes you a cup of tea whilst it’s at it.

      1. AlanR says:

        Thanks. I have never used P. I use A and S most and occasionally Scene. I will try P and see what results I get. I don’t have a macro lens.

        1. beatingthebounds says:

          I can’t really remember why I started to use P, I think it may have been a tip in a book I bought, specific to the camera but not from Panasonic, written by an enthusiast – it’s very good. I think the key thing is that it enables me to quickly switch between different modes of auto-focus because of how I have the camera set-up.

  2. Impressive photos as always, proves you don’t need a whizz-bang expensive up to date camera to capture quality images. Had no idea there was such a thing as wild celery (although it’s obvious of course that there must be) or that it’s toxic. I was ready to ask if you could eat it until I read the next paragraph 😀

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I find the whole area of plants which have been domesticated quite intriguing – for instance, a lot of them seem to be coastal plants – why’s that then? Sadly, I don’t know. Yet.

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