Even more butterflies…

On Wednesday, the sun was shining brightly so I decided to take an amble up our road to see if I could find a ‘new’ or different butterfly to photograph. After a few shots in an around the parking area, I wandered further up the road and was feeling a little despondent as it felt like ‘all’ I’d seen were the usual suspects – Damon Blues, Spotted Fritillaries, Meadow Browns and several Marbled Whites (so many in fact, I didn’t even take any pictures since they were so ‘common’). I took some comfort in having found a very strange looking black caterpillar with yellow stripes across its back and some weird looking things coming out of its sides. (See pic 4, which I later discovered was an Alder Moth caterpillar).

I wandered back down the road thinking that was it, when I was stopped in my tracks by a magnificent orangey brown butterfly with some white markings and a tail. (I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a Brown Hairstreak – see pic 14). Whoopee, I thought, a new one, exactly what I was looking for. And while I was there, a Brimstone landed right next to me and it was swiftly followed by a very scruffy looking Comma. Things were suddenly looking up. Suitably re-energised I carried on snapping away and even went into ‘the trench’ behind the road to capture a few more.

As you may gather, apart from a few obvious ones, butterflies are simply white, blue, brown or yellow to me, at least until I look them up. So I expected a lot of the pictures to be duplicates or even triplicates. But it was only when I went through my photos to identify them yesterday that I realised (assuming my id’s are correct) I’d captured 20 different butterflies.

I’m now suitably ashamed of myself for being so pathetic and not appreciating even those which I’ve seen and photographed many times before. I’m truly lucky to be able to see all these magnificent little creatures less than 100 yards from on my doorstep.

Once more, as in my post of “A Dozen Butterflies” of last week, it turned out that all of these images were taken inside 1 hour 20 minutes. In order to give you a flavour for how it sort of works, I took a video while standing in the trench. (See end of this post). It will never win a Wildlife Film of the Year award, but you’ll get an idea of how easy it is to capture so many butterflies in such a small area in such a short time. It shows at least 8, possibly 9, different butterflies in the 2m 20s or so of the film. I hope you enjoy!

P.S. The Happiness Engineers at WP have pointed out that I’ve been setting my Post Format to ‘Gallery’, which seemed reasonable to me since almost all my posts contain a gallery. However, when included with text, it has the effect of leaving the email blank (apart from the title of course). So this one is set to ‘Standard’ AND I’ve changed the Feed setting (under Settings – Writing) to ‘Limit feed to excerpt only’. So, we’ll see what happens… 😊

“First Up” by Arthur Manton-Lowe

Firstly, please accept my humblest apologies for all the emails that this site has been generating for the past 24 hours.  I’ve been trying to resolve an issue where the picture gallery doesn’t appear in the emails which are sent out.  My testing proved inconclusive (with different results for two almost identical posts), so I left it with the WordPress Happiness Engineer to resolve and he did some more, also inconclusive, testing.  He advised switching to the latest WP Editor, which I may well do, the next time I get a chance!

In addition, by following myself, I’ve seen how the gallery images have been listed, one beneath the other, which isn’t ideal.  So I may also switch to using the Read more (of this post)… link to encourage people to view the gallery with the black background of my template.

But, to more interesting things…  Life en Suisse, during the Corona virus…

Today my wife, Jude, and I took a trip down to one of the DIY stores to pick up a painting which we’d left for framing.   In Switzerland, the lockdown is not as severe as in some countries and, after they called yesterday to say it was ready, Jude agreed a time to pick it up.  So we drove down and joined a queue of about 8 cars waiting patiently in a line in the car park.   One by one, as each car reached the front of the queue, the occupants were checked in (as having an appointment) and the driver (or passenger) got out and walked to the ‘office’ (which was carefully segregating customer from staff) to pay and to be given instructions where to collect the item.

As I was waiting, I saw our painting being brought out on a trolley and it was left at collection point A.  (Thankfully it wasn’t raining, indeed the skies are perfectly blue this week).  Jude soon arrived back and we drove around to said collection point, loaded up and drove home.  After unwrapping the picture, we were delighted with the result.  So I thought I’d share it with you… 😊  (Well, I hope it’s below, but if not, please click on the title of this post).

It’s painted by our good friend Arthur Manton-Lowe.  He told me that the location of the building is about 2 kilometres from his home in Vienne, France and the title is “First Up”, since first up lights the fire…  The inscription on the side reads: “Never let the fire in your heart go out.  Romans 12 v 11-13”



WordPress ‘Next’ button issue on Photo Gallery

Hello all.  I’m advised by Judith that when you select a photo (usually the first one I guess) from any email that you may get due to my (and maybe other’s) posts, the ‘Next’ button (displayed above and to the right of the image) takes you to the last picture in the gallery.  The ‘Previous’ button will then take you backwards through the carousel of photos, (which is not ideal, given that I now always take care to publish them in sequence).

A quick search of Google reveals that this may be an issue reported to the WordPress developers (which clearly hasn’t been fixed yet).   So, to counteract this, I suggest either simply clicking on the image (as this seems to move to the next picture) or use the right arrow button on your keyboard.  (Strangely though the back arrow doesn’t seem to go backwards!)

Alternatively, if you click on the title of the post in your email, it will take you to my site, where everything (I think) works as you might expect.

(For a moment there I almost missed my days working in IT.  I’ll go for a lie down now and hope it passes!) 🙂