Thursday, January 19, 2012

Back At Last!


No, you're not imagining it! I am back... at last :-) I have been away from here for so long that the more time passes the more difficult it seems to re-integrate and I think if I don't post something now, I never will! Thank you so much for all your kind and caring comments on my last post, they were very moving and meant a great deal to me. Thank you too to those of you who sent concerned emails, it really is much appreciated.


I am glad to report that I have had no more of the frightening incidents mentioned in my last post and all of the tests had good results but I do have to take a small dose of aspirin each day to keep my blood thin. I also have to follow a low cholesterol diet even though my levels were well within the normal range.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas and wish you all a very happy and healthy 2012. Last year was particularly bad for me, chest and allergy wise, so what with that, the no show Summer :-( and the many recent, dull days with barely any light, I haven't had many opportunities to get out with the camera. Perhaps this year will be a better one!

Anyway, I thought I would show some of the few photos I did take in the last few months. I hope looking at out of season photos won't be too boring...it does bring a bit of colour to our dull Winter days though.

Sadly, butterflies were few and far between in 2011 in my area. Even in places where I can usually be guaranteed to at least see the more common species, they were absent. In 2009 the UK was visited by hordes of Painted Ladies but 2010 saw a return to normal and I, for one, didn't see any at all! However, back in August last year I saw this one. They really are beautiful!

Painted Lady

'I like to see the butterfly extend her painted wing.'
(A Stoddart)

One of the butterflies that thankfully did do well here, in the late Summer, was the Red Admiral. With its bold and striking colours I think it is probably my favourite although I love them all. Butterflies are such ethereal and magical creatures and the absolute essence of a sunny Summer's day. How I miss them in the Winter and look forward to their return. I hope they will be much more plentiful this year.

Red Admiral

Moving forward to the Autumn, there was an abundance of berries and the birds took full advantage of them. This Robin looked like the Hawthorn berry it was eating was much too big for such a small bird!

Robin

The Squirrel in the following photo was a long way away and I don't know what it was doing with the piece of wood, possibly sharpening its teeth.

Grey Squirrel

It looked to me like it was eating a giant sweetcorn :-)

This male Bullfinch looked very handsome amongst the Blackberries.

Bullfinch

'The bull-finch whistles soft his flute-like notes'
(Richard Savage)

I was taken by surprise by this Goldcrest and just managed to get a hurried snap before it flew away.

Goldcrest

I'm not sure what this fungus is but think it might be one of the Russula family but can't be any more specific than that.

Russula species?

I always think the collective name of 'charm' for Goldfinches is very apt and those at the top of this post certainly did look charming against the blue October sky as did this one which I photographed at the end of November.

Goldfinch

'A gaudy Goldfinch, pert and gay,
Hopping blithe from spray to spray,
Full of frolick, full of spring,
With head well plumed and burnished wing.'
(Dr. John Aikin)


Moving forward and into the Winter, in the place where I walk most which I suppose I should call my 'patch' and where all the previous photos were taken (with the exception of the butterflies), I saw this Fieldfare. The light was starting to fade and as is usually my luck there were lots of twigs in the way :-(

Fieldfare

Well, that's it for now. I will try to catch up with visiting everyone and commenting in the next few days. I did manage to get out with the camera at the weekend so I will post again soon. Until then... enjoy the beauty of Nature, wherever you are.