8. More Wildlife Photos.




29th July 2007. Greatly emboldened by yesterday’s success, the camera was again taken to today’s gig. It was at a National Trust property on the Gloucestershire - Oxfordshire border, about 60 miles south of where I live. I can report, with modest pride, that two new things were photographed. Here they are:


On the left is a male ‘Gatekeeper’ butterfly, Pyronia tithonus, also sometimes called the Hedge Brown. We know it is a male, because it has the dark patches of scent scales on its forewings. And on the right, a rather confused photo. of the Ivy-leaved Toadflax, Cymbalaria muralis. Unfortunately the small but very distinctive flowers are rather out of focus, and the whole thing is rendered even more ambiguous by the fact that the plant is apparently growing on top of real Ivy: that is of course, the darker, more glossy & heavily veined leaves underneath.


Besides this, we also took two more moderately successful shots today, but these were of things we already knew. Nevertheless, they are included here for general interest.




Vanessa atalanta, the Red Admiral Butterfly, needs no introduction. This one was shot at the same location as the two photos. above. Unfortunately, it was located about seven feet up in a tree, so that when it opened its wings from time to time, we couldn’t see them. So we must be content with this resting shot. On the right is Solanum dulcemara, otherwise known as ‘Bittersweet’, or the Woody Nightshade. This example is growing up a wall just round the corner from my house here in suburban Birmingham. There should also be a fine specimen in my garden (it is a remarkably persistent plant), but as my garden has been overgrown & impenetrable for several years, I can’t get to it right now. The plant shown already has some unripe green berries on it, but as it is still windy, they keep blowing around and so can’t be shot in focus. Later we will try to get a shot of the berries. But we probably won’t be here when they ripen to their final red; as has been remarked above, we are moving house in the next couple of months or so. Oh: I’m sure you already know, but Bittersweet is of course poisonous. Not just the berries, but the flowers, leaves & everything. Come to think of it, perhaps I should simply extirpate the plant growing round the corner, in case a child eats any of the berries?


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Location changed 22nd August 2007.