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Monday, June 15, 2009

Moth and Flower Power

I've been running after my own tail once again, these past few weeks. And whenever there was anything to post, I did so in Birding on wheels. My camera never sat still though, and these images are mostly from the end of May, when we had one gorgeous day.
Now again I am without time. I'll be picked up soon to spend the next few days in respite. A facility of Rehabcare to take in tired souls and let them spend three days doing whatever they want. You can then use the car +driver/helper for certain place you want to go.
Last time I used it to go to Glengarriff Woods nature reserve. But it was incredible cold that morning. On top of which we got showers, and I had left my cape at home, and also my glove. which meant that operating the camera was very hard.
The forecast doesn't look good for the coming 3 days either. Tough luck. Now I can finally go somewhere with a car, and again the weather isn't good looking. I'll have a good time anyway.
And a few days without internet/Sky tv access is great sometimes. Does mean I get to miss the BBC's Springwatch specials.
This little Speedwell, a close cousin to the Germander Speedwell,
Veronica chamaedrys
which is probably the most famous of the Veronica's.
Wood Speedwell, Veronica montana

Opposite our former house, the neighbours had acquired free Rhododendron, Rhododendron ponticum, plants and these formed their fully matured hedge, and in spring we looked out at a great wall of purple, red and rose 'Rhodos'. They must also have given some to the then inhabitants of our cottage, because they were dotted around here and there. One of these has really grown big now, and grows in the front garden. The photo below is one of its faded flowers. In the backgarden we had one which had grown into a large bush, about 3 metres tall.
Rhododendron, Rhododendron ponticum

Garden escape, I believe. Looks very pretty against the blue fence though.

Unknown species. (to me, that is!)

I went out to find a nice Flag Iris and a Raged Robin which had still a fresh flower on it and which was easy approachable too. It is a pity that my Lumix hasn't got one of those flip LCD screens at the back of the camera. From above, I need to take many pictures keeping the lens close to the subject, at an angle to get the best end result. My Lumix has a fairly good macro mode.(even though I want more, of course! In the shape of a Macro lens for the DMC FZ18. That is for dreams at the moment) Mind you, I think the best lesson I learned is not to hold the lens too close to the subject, while zooming out. This Ragged Robin was the only one with just the one reasonable fresh flower which I could use as my subject. Their flimsy texture means that they wilt very easily and start hanging down very soon.

Ragged Robin, Lychnis flos-cuculi

Field Mouse Ear, Cerastium arvense

Dog Rose, Rosa canina

Bush Vetch, Vicia Sepium

It being summer almost, lots of wild flowers are out, and also the Moths have been in and about the house. These three have been calling in last week:

Buff Ermine Moth. Spilarctia luteum,

This little Garden Carpet Moth, a common garden variety (hence its name!) has called into the house last year also. I used to call it "Face-Moth however, because of the little face which is marked in the middle of the two front wings.
Garden Carpet Moth, Xanthoroe fluctuata

Small Magpie Moths visits the house often, and now too, it was trying to get and stay indoors. I guess it was seeking shelter from the wind, and the door offers a little shelter, but it obviously was seeking for more. I put it in one of my plant pots, in a little container among the leaves, where it could gather its wings.
Small Magpie Moth, Eurrhypara hortulata

This wild Flower still confuses me; is it a Butterwort, or is it a Mallow? This last one is the family of the garden favourite Lavatera.

On May 30, I came upon the spot where I knew I would find Yellow Flag Iris, one of those wild flowers, which is loved by almost every citizen in the British Isles. Like with the Ragged Robin and Honey suckle. It was hard to believe however that one Flag Iris had already faded flowers, while the next one was still in bud! Another one had faded all over. (and I had been kept indoors due to too much rain until the end of May! Must admit thuogh that they are growing in a very sheltered spot, with trees on both sides of the little road.)


  1. The 'Mallow' is a geranium, unsure exactly which one but definitely of the family.

    Also garden escape?? It's knapweed I think, not enough flowers to be cornflower.

    Must get some Ragged Robin for the garden next year, along with a variety of other natives!

    Very strange, my blog is only just telling me you've posted! yet this was posted on Monday... Odd!

  2. What wonderful pictures. That plant looks like a mallow to me.

  3. I did only post it yesterday, after editing it. (I did post it on Monday, when something didn't turnout right at first.)

    Crow, the problem with Mallows was that it did not have the right leaves! Went through the whole family in my book. Nor is it typical Geranium-like leaves, but it is worth looking into.

  4. Hmmm, the flower certainly looks like mallow that I've had. That blue flower against the blue wall, we call that Scottish Thistle. I have a good bit of it growing and it looks lovely. The bees just love it.

  5. I have yet to see a Geranium with leaves like these leaves, so it could well be a Lavetera. (popular garden plant over here.) And so you might still be right!

  6. The Geranium could be G. endressi or G. versicolor. The Speedwell is V. chamaedrys, not V. montana. V. montana does not have flowers this bright.


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