Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Dingy by name, but not in reality

After a week away on Islay, the southern most Island of the Hebrides and known as the Queen of the Hebrides I was rather disappointed with many of my pictures. I guess I'd realised a while ago that I wasn't producing the crisp images that I wanted, but I put it down to my technique and diminishing ability to hold the big lens shake free. I decided that the lens might just be part of the problem and dispatched it to Canon for an overhaul. It's been in almost constant use for a good while and a clean and readjustment might do it some good.
I have always enjoyed the contrast of the Ferry Terminal at Dover, all bustle and concrete with the magic of the strip of chalk grassland on the old tramway along the cliffs, just above.

The colony of Dingy Skippers here seems to be having a good year, following the mild winter and warn early spring.
As the name suggests they are not among our brightest coloured butterflies, but they have a charm of their own, and today in the warm, almost windless weather they were easy to find sitting out enjoying the sunshine.

As impressive as the butterflies is the showing of Early Spider Orchids. There are always a few down here but this year they seem to have done exceptionally well. I haven't been to Samphire Hoe yet, but I suspect they will have done well there as well.

Green Hairstreak is a butterfly that I usually have difficulty photographing. As soon as I see one it will disappear to the top of the tree never to come into view again. 

I was lucky today, and I have to admit I had help. I was pleased to meet Alan Cooper, also having a look at the butterflies on the tramway, and he pointed this one out to me. 

In fact it did fly off several times, but always quickly returned to the same vicinity, there was something about this warm, sheltered spot that it really liked.
Other butterflies around today included, Orange Tip, Small Copper, Common Blue, Wall, Small White and one I didn't see, but Alan did, Small Heath.

I presume that as well as being sheltered, the old tramway relieves a lot of reflected heat from the cliffs and even more for the mass of concrete in front of it. I has its own little micro-climate and it is normally a few days ahead of other less blessed areas.

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