Putting the sun in sunday: while not the hottest or brightest day of the year there were lots of butterflies in the bushes at Gullane and they were happy to pose for photos. While the varieties were commonplace - Peacocks and Red Admirals, I got some of the most pleasing photos I have had from there. And due to the little chaps being very obliging I took most of the photos in maybe 15 minutes; less time than it usually takes to get half the results here. The colour of the sea buckthorn behind the insects seems to compliment the reds of the wings and I have really enjoyed tweaking and cropping the results. Far too many here I know but I can't bear to throw any out. Oh and it was a nice day for a run as well.
not an eclipse but a halo (and vapour trail)
looking like a jelly fish
sometimes I forget how big Mary's nose can look when she turns side on
Mary actually stood at that crossing for about 20 minutes so I am just getting her back. I had a feeling that with the day being quite still and the sun trying to peep out through the thin clouds there would be a good show at the butterfly bushes. I said to her I would run on and get there first so she wouldn't have to wait or that I wouldn't have to leave before I was done. But then I'd get distracted by something and she'd catch me up. Such as this nice dandelion clock. That's M in the orangey blur bottom right.
So I ran ahead (on 34mile tired legs slowly coming back to life) and crossed the bridge at Aberlady a bit ahead. It was apparent the drangonflies had finally emerged - individuals were sat sunbathing on the dirt path every 80 yards. Almost invisible until they take off. So I had to make a quick call in at Marl Loch. I expected to see them in abundance but there was only one (I could see) and it was sitting on an aesthetically challenging bit of dirt and scrubby grass. I took a photo or 2 (above) but it wasn't ideal surroundings. I looked for others on the swamp grasses that have filled the edge of the loch but couldn't see any. I was looking for the sort of shot I took in early October 2016, that facebook reminded me of the other day...
that's better! Common Darter
lots of greenery, no dragonflies
I ran on before Mary arrived. But only got 2 or 3 minutes before I saw her catch up. I was pleased she stopped running and started taking photos of the small plants and flowers on the ground. It can be very involving and the more you look, the more you see. The bushes, thistles and nettles were busy with Peacocks and Red Admirals and bees. I had fun trying to angle the camera to catch more than one in each shot. While trying not to get strung and shredded by the same thistles and nettles. It was very absorbing. Some of the butterflies were so distracted by the thistle flowers that I was able to put the camera right up beside them without chasing them off. You never really know till you get home what the quality and focus is like exactly but I was hopeful. I lost a few potentially excellent shots to poor focus but some came out as well as I hoped.
RA in flight with other bugs in background
B & B
B & B 2
I had meant to wear a small back pack carrying running tights and a top to put on while here, to stop whatever it is that is biting me. I have a regular number of angry red dots that I lather in Anthisan cream, appear in days following these trips into this jungle. They are exquisitely itchy. I never see the owner of the teeth/stinger/plunger.
Rich asked me the day before had my interest in butterflies peaked. I think he was being polite but really meant how mental was I going to get with this particular obsession? Well, I'm not going to travel 387miles to RSPB Strumpshaw Fen to see the second arrival of Swallowtails there. Then again I do know that now is a good time to see them there. Just not that big a fan of swallowtails. But maybe daft enough to cycle back to see the Wall browns near N Berwick if I can't find any other place to see them. Moderation. Moderately barking. It's good to have a hobby. Winter will be hard though.
I liked this sequence of shots - I got really close to this peacock and most of the thistle it's on is hidden. As a result it looks as if he's flying across the photo. Or stuck on a car windscreen.
I was practically knocking this one off his thistle with the camera
the geese honked "times up"
Mary left, time to go
I ran around chasing a couple of Blues, who prefer the shorter grass to the bushes, but neither played ball. I saw a last Red Admiral and got a couple more shots. But felt satisfied with the outing. The rest of the run was fun, and we even went for a swim since it was the last day of Mary's hols.
some abstract art - well it is the festival time
a carrion beetle - in an outfit not dissimilar to Mary's
trying to get her average pace up
Having enjoyed warmish fresh water in Gladhouse it was a bit of a downer to go back to salty cold water. Not terrible but not as nice by some distance. Firstly the taste. Just absolutely disgusting and probably the thing that would stop me doing long swims in the sea. And you HAVE to wash everything in the shower afterwards. I think I forgot to shower after one swim in fresh water. You would not forget to shower after swimming in the sea. It's filthy. Next up it's choppy. I know reservoirs have waves too but combine swell and salt and I'm a gonna boak. Slightly colder in the sea. Not a deal breaker but you know how it's warm in the Med and your teeth don't chatter afterwards. Well that. And there's kids and dogs washing their holes. If I wanted that I could swim in the Commie Pool.