Small tortoiseshell

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I was out in the garden this morning, stalking squirrels with the 70-300 lens, and being thoroughly impeded by the dogs.

Arthur: “Hey Mum – is that a squirrel over there? Oh no – it isn’t.”
Me: “Arthur, go away”
Arthur: “Sorry – I just thought you might want to stop doing that thing and give me a treat instead.”
Me: “Arthur, go away.”
Arthur: “Oh OK then…. Are you sure about the treat?”
Me: “Arthur – GO AWAY.”
Arthur: “I’m going now.”

Roley: “Mum – there you are!! I’ve been looking for you!”
Me: “Roley, go away.”
Roley: “But I came to keep you company!”
Me: “Roley, GO AWAY!”
Roley: “Are you cross? Why are you cross? Oh look – is that a sq…? Oh no – it’s gone now.”
Me: “Roley – GO AWAY!!!
Roley: I’ll just lie here quietly, shall I, till you’re feeling happier? I can help you keep an eye out for squirrels. That would be helpful, wouldn’t it?”

I was just about to poke myself in the eye with the camera as a counter-irritant when I realised that the little hebe that was planted by our predecessor, and which manages to keep going despite being almost swamped by a rogue honeysuckle, was teeming with butterflies, bees and hoverflies. When I went inside about 20 minutes later I’d taken 130 shots, the culling and editing of which took the rest of the day.

There were positives and negatives about this accidental learning experience: on the plus side I got a lot of shots of butterflies that wouldn’t have been possible with a closer lens because I was far enough away not to disturb them, but the down side was that the zoom didn’t handle the strong light and shade as well as a prime would have done, so editing was more of a challenge.

My main image today is a small tortoiseshell, and the extra is an extraordinarily ragged peacock butterfly – I don’t think the poor thing can be long for this world, but it was still busy foraging the whole time I was taking my photographs. I thought the least I could do was immortalise it!

150709 09 peacock