MORE WILD THINGS

corona times

DSC_3227 violas

Over the past week I have accumulated a number of more photos  of wild flowers and insects in the garden and beyond.  I am going a little further afield now and have some images of some coastal wildflowers as well as those in and around my garden.

Above are wild violas, very small flowers which are very common on the roadsides. Below are several photos of thrift, or sea pinks. They grow on cliffs overlooking the sea, and close by. The individual flowers are very tiny, but they grow in clusters and can be quite stunning.

DSC_3210 thrift pinks

 

 

DSC_3209 thrift pinks

 

 

DSC_3203 thrift pinks

 

 

DSC_3205 thrift pinks

 

 

DSC_3189 pinks thrift

 

 

DSC_3192 white thrift

Below are white thrift, not so common as the pink variety. Don’t know the name of the above flower.

 

DSC_3187 white thrift

 

 

 

DSC_3126 escallonia and bee

Escallonia above, not a wild flower but I love the bee – he’s so fluffy he’s almost cuddly!

 

DSC_3111 dragon flies

I recently read on another person’s blog that dragon flies are scarce at this time of the year. Not sure where he lives but my garden is teeming with them, which I’m very happy about because they eat loads of midges and mosquitoes – yes we do have mosquitoes here, although some people think we don’t. I certainly know when I’ve been bitten by one!  Thankfully no malaria here.

DSC_3098 dragon flies

 

 

DSC_3108 dragon fly and buttercups

 

 

DSC_3006 flower

I’m really not sure what flower this is. It’s very small and reminds me of an antirrhinum.

 

DSC_3059 primrose hedge

A hedge of primroses.

 

DSC_3057 dandelions

Common dandelions.

 

DSC_3056 dandelions

 

 

DSC_3049 herb robert

Above and below, herb robert.

 

DSC_3046 herb robert

Below, scarlet pimpernel, which looks rather orange when you see it on the ground. It’s a really tiny flower but the colour just sings out.

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This fellow above looked like some kind of shield bug. He was hanging about on my window and I took this shot with my phone from the inside.  On reviewing the image later I was better able to see it.  He was not much more than 10mm long.

Irish wildflower photos available on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c802-irish-wildflowers-photos

I can receive enquiries through my website.

More soon. Thanks for visiting today, please come back. KEEP SAFE!

WILD AND FREE

corona times

Wild and free as we would like to be – just now! This post features more wild flowers and insects, in and around my garden, where I search for inspiration to create interesting images, while I’m staying at home.

There are reports of people getting complacent and stealing out and about where they should not go, and I completely understand them. The longer we are restricted, the harder it is. But wandering around the garden with my camera is very absorbing and I have enjoyed being more observant about the little things that appear around my home.

DSC_2777 cuckoo flower

These delightful white flowers are actually very small and they are called cuckoo flowers.

DSC_2779 cuckoo flower

 

DSC_2780 cuckoo flower

 

DSC_2788 cuckoo flower

 

DSC_2783 speedwell

Known as speedwell apparently, these very small blue ones, but when I was a child we called them sore eyes, for some reason. I may have been misinformed. There is another little white flower called eyebright. Perhaps it was confused with that one.

DSC_2784 speedwell

 

DSC_2787 speedwell

 

DSC_2791 primroses

Primroses, above

 

DSC_2802 dragon fly

There is at least a few varieties of dragon fly in my garden. This is the first I’ve seen this year. It’s a very skinny fellow, blue and black. I love the large all blues, but I haven’t seen any yet this year. I find it very difficult to capture them – they don’t like you to get too close, and my lens is not particularly suitable for this type of photography.

DSC_2803 dragon fly

Mid flight, above.

DSC_2807 butterfly on appleblossom

A lovely speckled wood butterfly on the apple blossom.

DSC_2808 butterfly on apple blossom

 

DSC_2817 dandelion seed head

Dandelion seed heads.

DSC_2824 dandelion seed head

In my youth we used to blow the seeds off these, saying – he loves me – he loves me not -he loves me….. whatever happens on the last blow would be the truth. I don’t think we ever believed it and certainly not if it turned up a negative final statement! We had fun that cost nothing, and didn’t require any digital technology – there wasn’t any!

DSC_2765 dandelion seed head

 

DSC_2821 buttercup

Buttercups, of course, and with a fly below.

DSC_2762 buttercup

 

DSC_2819 buttercups

 

DSC_2829 thistle flower

Red clover.

DSC_2828 thistle flower

 

DSC_2831 thistle flower

 

DSC_2825 ribwort plantain with insect

Ribwort plantain, above and below. It has a brown insect on it in these photos.

DSC_2827 ribwort plantain with insect

 

DSC_2834 dandelions

Ragged dandelions, just for the variety. I’ll have to get better images of these next time.

One thought that often occurs to me is that for the first time in my living memory, there are people all over the world now who are living the same restricted lifestyle, coping with the same difficulties that come with those restrictions, listening to the same WHO reports and advice and extending themselves in terms of creativity and development in ways that otherwise may never have happened. In the most unexpected way we have a common uniting force, we are communicating more than we did before Covid-19 arrived, albeit digitally. We can understand the issues affecting others in far away countries from ourselves, in a much more empathetic way than ever before, I think.

DO STAY SAFE!

WILD THINGS

corona times

I heard recently of a number of Covid-19 cases in this area, within a couple of kilometers of my home. Mostly they are kept hush, hush, until it eventually leaks out. It really is uncomfortably close.  An employee of the shop that delivers my groceries was infected.  That’s very close!  Best not to dwell on it, but it’s a fact to be aware of.

DSC_2702 bee and flower I’m still continuing with exploring around the garden for subjects to photograph, in the absence of opportunities to go out and about on the beaches and cliffs etc., due to the Covid-19 restrictions.  These wild yellow rapeseed flowers are so attractive to bees that I happily encourage it in the garden. Currently there are apparently several varieties of bees around it.DSC_2701 bee and flower

 

DSC_2703 bee and flower

 

DSC_2704 bee and flower

 

DSC_2705 bee and flower

 

DSC_2730 bee and blossom

The bee in the picture below looks different from the usual bee visitors.

DSC_2731 beeI just love these fellows with their fancy hats below, ribwort plantain, they are called. They commonly grow wild all over the country, as far as I know. I would be delighted if someone could tell me their name.  As kids, we used to play a game with these, each child holding one by the stalk and trying to bash hell out of the head of the other’s to knock the head off.  At the time it never occurred to me that they were so pretty.

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DSC_2722 butterflyThis poor butterfly appears to have had a lucky escape from some pair of claws or jaws, I think.

DSC_2660 bluebells

Above are wild bluebells by the roadside outside my home.

DSC_2746 insect in apple blossom

I don’t have a clue what type of insect is on the apple blossom above and below, it’s possibly some type of bee mimicking fly.

DSC_2747 apple blossom with insect

 

DSC_2749 insect in buttercup

Buttercup with insect above. Below is some skinny type of fly, like a gnat, on a red currant bush.

DSC_2754 insect on red currant bush

 

DSC_2507-2 primroses

Wild primroses above.

150534 daisies

Wild daisies colonising the rockery, choking out a delicate campanula. I’ve left it for now, being such a pretty flower.

DSC_0296 birds

Captured through the double glazed window. Not an ideal method for wildlife photography, but good to record the images of the birds on the patio feeder.

 

DSC_0305 birds

 

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DSC_0302 birds

 

Below is another recording of garden birdsong.  The picture brightens when you click it. The purpose of the video is to play the sounds of birdsong in the garden. You can see the Atlantic Ocean in the distance, yet with a northerly wind the sound of the incoming waves, normally nice to hear, makes a louder hiss than desirable on these recordings. I’m surprised at just how sensitive the camera recorder is.

And just to end this post I would just like to mention that I saw my first swallow of the year today! It’a great to see them return.

STAY SAFE!

 

PHEASANT GARDEN VISITOR

DSC_0185 pheasant

Just a few shots grabbed through the window with a hand held camera and zoomed lens. This fellow disappears fast as soon as he sees any movement inside the window, so I had to be quick.

I’m not the best wildlife photographer, but I couldn’t resist this one.

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DSC_0186 pheasant

 

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I love to see pheasants in the garden. This fellow appeared a few times recently, but I haven’t seen him for over a week now; I hope the fox didn’t get him.

Thanks for looking.

GANNET IN DISTRESS – read below

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On a recent beach walk on Béal Bán Beach, Ballyferriter, near Dingle, I came upon this beautiful gannet. It’s not often I have an opportunity to get this close to a gannet. This bird was struggling to pull a piece of rope which appeared to have something heavy on the end of it. I watched it struggle up from the water, pulling its object up the beach. I stupidly thought she was doing this by choice, and that she may have some purpose in mind, for her piece of treasure. I took several photos, not wishing to get too close and scare her away.

Another passer-by, who was more enlightened than myself saw the bird’s distress and stopped to free her from the rope, which was apparently stuck to her beak. She must have become entangled with it when she was diving for food.

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Having been set free, one might expect that she would fly away, but that didn’t happen. I can only guess that she must have been exhausted. She seemed unconcerned about me getting closer, taking more photos, and made no attempt to get away. I left her there, just standing on the middle of the beach. It was a sad sight. There was nothing more that anyone could do. I don’t know what happened to her; I hope she managed to fly away as the tide came in some hours later.

So, my reason for writing this post – just to make people think more carefully about what they throw into the sea, or leave on the beach for the tide to claim. Thousands of birds and other creatures suffer and die unnecessarily because of human carelessness.

Please visit my website for more animal and bird photos.

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c101-animals-and-birds-photos