nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
Small tortoiseshell butterfly
[click to embiggen]

We hadn't seen many butterflies this year until the past week, when it suddenly got warm. I was starting to worry because the oregano was in full bloom and our usual swarm of small tortoiseshells hadn't turned up yet. They have now (and there was much rejoicing). Prior to that I'd only seen the occasional cabbage white, a single peacock and a solitary painted lady, which was never around when I had my camera out.

I spent a pleasant half hour trying to get the perfect shot of one of the tortoiseshells. This is SOOC (straight off of camera, uncropped and unedited), and I'm pretty happy to have captured it.
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
22-spot ladybird
Found this pretty little mildew-eater whilst giving the garden a spring clean.

Blue tit

Mar. 13th, 2016 09:18 pm
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
Excuse me, don't stare, I'm eating

Today I got a chance to camp out for a few minutes near the toroid fat ball feeder and wait for a photo opportunity. This blue tit was kind enough to oblige me, although I'm not sure it appreciated having quite so attentive an audience for its afternoon snack.
spiralsheep: Flowers (skywardprodigal Cog Flowers)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
Watching parental robins at an urban railway station: the local robins at University station in Birmingham know which side their bread is buttered, and have begging from the commuters down to a fine art. I was eating my breakfast, a saffron fruit bun (translation from EnglishEnglish: a very buttery bread-textured roll with raisins, sultanas, currants, candied peel, and saffron spice), when an extremely bold robin approached me closely to ask for a share. I picked off a few small pieces until the robin decided its beak was full and flew away to its nest. It quickly returned and made begging-cheeps for more, so I obliged, and then it returned a third time. It was only on the third round that the adult robin ate any crumbs itself. I’d finished my breakfast when it returned a fourth time so I showed it my empty hands, which it understood immediately and went off to look for food elsewhere. (Note: the high animal fat content of my saffron bun makes it better for robins than most processed human foods.)

Tree blossom and Priory, Malvern, Worcestershire 05-15

Watching young birds having learning experiences: I saw an inexperienced wood pigeon attempt to land on my neighbour’s shiny corrugated plastic shed roof and skid along a groove. It then proceeded to attack some overhanging willow leaves, first pecking them and then wrestling them with mighty vigour, before giving up and wandering out of sight. Although it wasn’t quite as funny as the very surprised young crow who recently attempted to land on the same corrugated plastic roof when it was wet, and aquaplaned the length of the roof, lol.

Bluebells, Worcestershire 05-15

How are the seasonal changes moving where you are?
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila

[Click to embiggen]

Our tree is begrudgingly conceding that it might be spring in the northern hemisphere, and the jay is gently corroborating with particularly plush plumage.
spiralsheep: Flowers (skywardprodigal Cog Flowers)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
Blackberry bramble, Rubus fruticosa, Herefordshire 09-14

Blackberry bramble, Rubus fruticosa, Herefordshire 09-14

False ladybird, Endomychus coccineus, on pink granite, Herefordshire 09-14

False ladybird, Endomychus coccineus, Herefordshire 09-14

Enjoy!
nanila: me (Default)
[personal profile] nanila
Our bird feeders (2 seed, 1 fat ball, 1 peanuts) have needed regular refilling since the weather in the UK started to cool earlier this months. We're filling the seed feeders pretty much daily now. (For geographical reference: I live in rural Worcestershire.)

This year we seem to have an unusually high number of sparrows. Last year it was more tits than we could count, but their numbers are definitely down this year. We have great tits, a few blue tits and occasional visits from a flock of long-tailed tits. I have yet to see any coal tits this autumn. We have a chaffinch and a greater spotted woodpecker, probably the same one we had last year, who monopolises the peanuts when he's around. He's very territorial. It takes him a while to work a peanut out of the spherical feeder and he defends it ferociously from the smaller birds while he's at it. Once he has one, he flies off for a minute or two, to enjoy it from the comfort of the higher branches, and then dives back in and throws his weight around.

What bird life are people seeing in their parts of the world?
melannen: A young girl riding on a dinosaur studying plants around her (nature)
[personal profile] melannen
(Am I the only person who has a grudge against Monty Python for that sketch? Every time I try to get someone to teach me how to do it, or teach someone else how, it's just larches all the way down.)

Anyway! It's been awhile - I'm sorry for the break in Fecundity posts; a combination of camera!fail and life getting away from me for awhile broke my momentum. There should be one this Sunday, though possibly without photos (and I have two of the missed weeks' posts almost done, so hopefully I will be able to play catch-up.

And in the meantime, spring has moved on without me. This is the time of year in my climate where it starts to be difficult to keep up with everything that's blooming. What's flowering where you are?

Currently blooming in my yard )
...and every kind of tree and shrub in existence. OMG, the POLLEN. It is ridiculous.

But! The good thing about tree-pollen season is that it's the best time for a non-expert to identify trees to species, even from a distance, because when the flowers are out, trees that are difficult to distinguish or non-descript in summer can be very easy. (See? We'd get back to the post title eventually!)

The ornamental flowering trees - dogwood, apple, pear, and cherry are commonest where I live - are quite easy to learn, and quite showy, for a few weeks in spring, and then go back to being tree-shaped trees with leaf-shaped leaves the rest of the year. The different maple species come out in flower before leaves, and most of the species have very distinct flower colors, even from a distance - Sibly Guides has a blog post up showing some of the common North American ones.

Less showy trees you might have to look down at the ground, as the flowers drop, especially the male flowers in the many species that have separate male and female ones. Most oak flowers are long fuzzy-looking brown things that resemble caterpillars, with every species quite distict. Maples look almost like sprays of tiny bells. Sweet gum trees have male flowers that look like Christmas trees made of tiny pom-poms and female ones that look like green starbursts. Some of the other common trees - like nut trees and poplars - won't flower until a while later. And no, I still have no idea how to identify a larch. :P

I've been living in the same plot of land my whole life, and the flora hasn't changed very much, and yet every year I learn new things and notice things I've never noticed before.

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