During the summer I visited the garden at Oxleaze Farm, Filkins; this is a beautiful rural location roughly between Lechlade and Burford. Chipps Mann has created a wonderfully relaxing environment and, as she grows many of the same plants as me, I think she has impeccable taste!! I hope that the following photographs give a feeling of the place but there is a lot more to linger over in this garden.
I know, I said no more dragonflies, but twice in one summer ……………………
I took my mug of tea and a journal out to the pond; I couldn’t believe my eyes when another dragonfly settled on my boot the moment I stood still.
I took a few more pictures then sat down very slowly but it did not move
Several minutes later I slid a piece of grass underneath the dragonfly and held it right in front of my face; annoyingly I did not have a macro lens on the camera and had to stretch out both my arms to get the next shot so it’s not properly focussed on the dragonfly
I just had to show you that I hadn’t reached my dragonfly zenith after all.
August 18 – final butterflies and a hopper
I have set myself new writing targets for September; stepping back from the WIP and concentrating on improving my photography has helped me to regain enthusiasm for finishing the novel. A huge ” thank-you” to everyone who has liked and/or left kind comments in response to the photographic posts as the positive feedback really helped to keep depression at bay. These are the last butterfly shots for 2013.
I took the photo of the Small Copper butterfly last week on the marjoram that has been covered in bees and butterflies all summer
Yesterday some Speckled Wood butterflies were flying in a small group along the edge of a belt of trees; they completely ignored me
This one was darker than the others; it looks a bit moth-eaten!
I couldn’t get a clear shot of the underside; this was the best effort
I don’t know anything about identifying grasshoppers but this little creature appeared in front of me on a reed
I knew I had a good shot but I waited to see if I could capture the face
Afraid that it was disappearing I snatched that picture too quickly without getting the focus right but, a moment later, the hopper reappeared from the far side of the reed and I had my shot of the day
August 17 – last of the dragonflies
I had a telephoto lens on the camera as I was trying to capture a shot of a strangely exotic-looking bird (focus failure!) but when this dragonfly landed next to me I stepped back about 5 feet and took the photo below. I think it looks like a picture of a plastic toy, reminiscent of childhood purchases from Woolworths. The reflective quality of the wings almost certainly means that this is a recently hatched dragonfly (female teneral common darter??)
I walked to the house, switched the lens, and went back out not really expecting the dragonfly to still be around so I was delighted to find it in the same spot. This is the first time I have managed to take a series of shots of the same one; I think I may have reached my zenith where dragonflies are concerned so these will be the last photographs of them on my blog this year.
August 16 – gatekeeper, skipper, darter, bomber……….bomber??
It’s amazing what flies by when you sit quietly!
Suddenly out of nowhere, with no time to change the camera lens, this appeared
This is the last Vulcan bomber still flying in the UK and I have no idea where it was coming from or going to. I hope that one day there will be no need for any bombers but, flying quite low almost overhead on a quiet Sunday afternoon in an otherwise empty sky, this one knocked my socks off.
August 15 – harvesting those oats as the sun went down, moon rising, brown argus butterfly.
I went back to watch the last hour of harvesting those oats (see August 13 – oats and ladybirds.) There was a glorious sunset and a pale harvest moon rising over the hills. Earlier on I spotted a brown argus butterfly; although the wings are brown a soft blue sheen sometimes shows up and you can see it on the front raised wing.
Clouds were coming in fast to the west but to the east, across the Chilterns, the moon was rising in a cloudless sky.
All photographs copyright Lynne Revette Butler
August 14 – close encounter with a dragonfly
I did some work by the wild garden pond this afternoon; the sun came out and with it came some dragonflies. I always keep a camera nearby and first I took this blurry shot
closely followed by this blurry shot
Just as I concluded I had discovered the world’s first jet-propelled dragonfly I heard a scratchy sound in the reeds at my feet; when I looked down there was this beautiful creature perched on my boot
I had a tiny gap in the reeds to film through; the focus on the shot is not great and the wings are not complete but I will treasure this picture as if it were a masterpiece.
August 13 – oats and ladybirds
August 11 – House Martins (2)
August 10 – House Martins (1) “Aerial Views”
This spring the martins arrived in 2 distinct groups several weeks apart; now, whilst some are still feeding young in their nests others have started displaying the behaviour patterns of birds who are preparing to leave. During the past few days at least a hundred of them have occupied the airspace above and around my home and I have taken dozens of photographs on “burst” mode in an attempt to capture their manic activity. These are not high quality photographs so please do not judge them as individual compositions but rather look at them as a series of snapshots portraying a feathered community.
All photographs are copyright Lynne Revette Butler