Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Holiday peep

A few posts ago, I mentioned my son Olly's kind despatch of special butterfly stamps from his holiday in Spain. Now here are two more, on a card waiting for Penny and me when we got back last night from our own holiday, near Bergerac in France. The handsome one on the left is a British butterfly too - the High Brown Fritillary. There's narry a hope of finding one of those in Leeds, But I still remember gasping with excitement when I first saw one as a small schoolboy on the brackeny skirts of the British Camp on the Malvern Hills.

It wasn't such good news for the fritillary because in those days I had a net. In France. it's all been camerawork, and there was plenty to photograph (quite apart from scenes of chateaux, les plus belles villages de France and les plus belles diners et dejeuners de nos vies). Here are a couple of tempters, above and below. It's going to be a bit of a butterfly week on the blog, because who can resist those colours? But there will be some good moths as well - and one or two other, mostly creeping, things...


sarah meredith said...

Welcome back, M and P!! I was getting a little concerned with no postings the last week or so - but I am glad to hear you were on holiday - - and in la belle France, no less. Hope it was lovely! G and I have postponed our France sojourn til the spring, opting instead for a couple of weeks on what we hope will be a quiet Martha's Vineyard in October.
Had a moth moment last week in an old painting studio in Harlem - as we all worked quietly on our portraits, out flew a little fellow - no idea what kind - but it swooped in and out of the rays of the north light window quite beautifully. It wouldn't have done for me to break everyone's concentration and run around trying to catch it! But I did enjoy its flight out of the corner of my eye.
Heading up to the farm tomorrow to see what, if any, damage we have from Hurricane Irene - towns to the east of us in the Catskills, sadly, were devastated. The Guardian made nice mention of the only news source out of the area the last couple of days - a "citizen journalist" live blog on the Watershed Post which has done a remarkable job keeping the communities apprised of road closings, emergency shelters etc.
xx to both

Banished To A Pompous Land said...

Welcome back Martin. I hope you had a splendid time.

A lovely Blue there. I remember the first tailed blues I saw were in France in and around Toulouse.

We had Irene blow through here but oddly it seems to have wrecked worse havoc further North. It struck about 100 miles south of us headed North and the centre passed us within 30 miles. We didnt have any serious damage ourselves just downed branches and a loosened fence. And it DID put out the Dismal Swamp fire. A lucky escape and far less destructive here than Isabelle in 2003. And still not quite halfway through hurricane season.

MartinWainwright said...

My fellow Americans!
(or dwellers therein...)

How nicer to hear from you. We were so heads down in the lovely countryside of the Dordogne that we didn't really have a clue what was going on elsewhere - Ghaddafi etc - but we did see a very striking photo of a lightning bolt behind the White House on the front page of a paper at the local Maison de la Presse.

Excellent about the Watershed Post and the swamp fire getting blown out. And we really, really recommend the area around Beynac and Belves and also Bourdeilles further north. Oooh it is nice. AND a lot of it used to belong to US, Les Anglais. AND, we seem to be gradually buying it back, in the form of retired couples.

But not us. I prefer being a visiteur and letting the French carry on with the fabulous job they have made of the place.

Well, I've got some challenging identifications coming up, cos there'll be no moth-trapping here for quite a while now, as I work through my French haul. It was a great part of the world for butterflies (and for art, Sarah). And Penny was very patient...


Banished To A Pompous Land said...

Did I remember to mention the 5.8 Richter earthquake? Just one of those weeks.

And yes the patience of spouses. Mrs B is pretty good until she catches me having photographed spiders at which point she wants to know where they are so that she can get out the rolled up newspaper. But I shall never tell!

Nick Tanner said...

back to the stamps (and butterflies) the one on the right is a two-tailed Pasha, my only encounter with this magnificent butterfly was at Torrejon el Rubio in Estremadura, Spain. Someone had spilled a bottle of water on the steps leading up to the torrejon, Red-rumped Swallows immediately began to gather mud for their nests from the resulting claggy puddle, only to be repeatedly dive-bombed and driven off by the Two-tailed Pashas; Cleopatras were also present here, both species sitting still long enough to give me my only two southern Spanish butterfly ticks


MartinWainwright said...

Hi Nick!

Sorry, I only just scrolled back to this thread. What a wonderful experience, seeing the Pashas in action, just like their Turkish namesakes in the good old days of the Ottoman Empire.

I've only ever seen one, in Croatia, and it was very good at hiding from my lens. I'm going to look back through the blog now, cos I think I may have taken a rather bad pic of it, lurking in a cleft of limestone.

All warm wishes