Sunday, 13 June 2010

.... of Swallowtails and Glanvilles ......

When outside your usual habitat, the things that you take for granted are slightly changed, so you can't be comfortable - you're 'outside your comfort zone' to use a dread phrase. The things that are obviously different can be easily spotted, like this Scarce Swallowtail, but there are many things that are nearly familiar but not quite - like this Large Wall Brown, not a Wall, not a Meadow Brown.
Consequently you feel that you have to check apparently normal things, just in case. Check this blue, just in case it has a little tail, check that hairstreak, just in case it's an Ilex Hairstreak (actually, I was pleased to see even the White-Letter - not a butterfly I've seen before even in Britain).
Butterflies were numerous and varied in Italy, but with the heat they moved fast, making the inevitable chases hot and often fruitless.
Fortunately there was no one to see my attempts to track down this Southern White Admiral, around and around a tree in a clearing.
Glanville Fritillaries were found in two separate places in the hills, and finding them means that I won't have to travel to some God-forsaken island off the south coast of England to see them.
Unless an expert tells me that I've misidentified them?

This was a nice butterfly - a Pearly Heath..... such a pretty pattern on the underwing, although the upper surface is dull like our heaths.
A Hummingbird Hawk Moth buzzed around some attractive Pinks on the ramparts of a castle...... and one night we walked through a colony of Fireflies, looking unearthly in the moonlight. The flash photograph takes most of the glamour away, but at least shows the bug's shape in flight.
Finally, not a bug but a Coypu, lazily swimming across a pool. Later another was seen swimming with four young (cubs, kits, kids?) on its back, too far away for a picture I'm sorry to say.
Next : the final installment - the flowers of San Marino - can you wait?

In the meantime, a quiz question....... Which country (and against whom) scored the fastest World Cup goal (including qualifying games)? Don't use Google.


Warren Baker said...

do you really want us to remember that dradful goal Steve. didn't England win 7-1 though ?

Kingsdowner said...

Well done Warren, you are obviously scarred by the memory.

Warren Baker said...

More scars to come by the looks of it steve :-)

Greenie said...

Steve ,
If the flowers are anywhere as good as the butterflies , I for one certainly can't wait .
Great post and pictures .
I'd pay good money to see you chasing the butterfly around the tree !

Mary said...

Neat butterflies! A Coypu? Is that like a muskrat or otter?