Saturday, 30 June 2012

Four-spotted Chaser.

While photographing Broad-bodied Chasers recently I also noticed that another similar species was also present around a local pond. 

The Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) has a much longer tapering abdomen (dark brown with yellow sides) and is easily identified by the additional spot in the middle of the leading edge of each wing when the individual is resting.

 Both sexes are very similar and the colouration of the body just gets darker as they mature.

On a seperate visit I managed to find this immature female ... much brighter in colour and with more extensive dark marks near the wing tips which could indicate that this is the form praenubila FAB.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


After the trials and tribulations of the past few weeks it now feels right to start posting again.

The Siskin (Carduelis spinus) is a smallish finch that I usually associate with winter when large flocks can often been seen nimbly hanging from very thin twigs high overhead while feeding amoungst Birch or Alder. For some years my parents have reported a pair or two visiting their feeders during the Summer months and during a very recent trip home I had a very brief opportunity to take a few snaps through the kitchen window.

 I'm sure this male was aware that someone was paying him some attention from the other side of the glass!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Fondest Memories.

I very rarely offer excuses for the lack of posting but today is an exception.

The last few weeks have been particularly stressful for Anita and her family ...... her mother hadn't been on top form for some time and was admitted to hospital by her G.P. over three weeks ago. After a week waiting for the results of tests we received a 'bolt from the blue' .... Jean had an aggressive form of cancer that was inoperable.

At her bequest plans were promptly put in place for Jean to be transferred back to her home with daily nursing care. Her son and daughters spent as much time as possible with their mother and father during the following few days but her condition deteriorated very quickly and Jean passed away peacefully on 11 June.

I am fortunate to hold many, many happy memories of Jean. As my Mother-in-Law she was always supportive, loving and totally unselfish. One passion we shared was gardening ... she would often purchase 'bargain' plants (some well past their best!) and nurse them back to full life. Her very small back garden is strewn with pots containing all manner of plants with always something in flower.

Today her close family and friends will say their final farewells to this lovely lady who was snatched away from us in such devastating circumstances. So my personal tribute is a few images of the colours from my small garden that I know she would enjoy.

Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, which is why it is called the present.

What the caterpillar perceives is the end, to the butterfly is just the beginning.

Everything that has a beginning has an ending.  Make your peace with that and all will be well.

If I should go before the rest of you,

Break not a flower, nor inscribe a stone.

Nor, when I'm gone, speak in a Sunday voice,

But be the usual selves that I have known.

Weep if you must, parting is hell,

But life goes on, so sing as well .......... (Joyce Grenfell).

Hopefully I'll find some time very soon to catch up with everyone ...... FAB.


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