Saturday, 31 July 2010

Butterfly sex

Butterfly sex is not easy. Once you and your partner have found a more or less stable position on a stem of a Great Burnet flower (Sanguisorba officinalis/Grote Pimpernel), number 3 turns up and wants to join the party. Now things really get difficult ...
Ooh, I almost forgot to mention; these nice little ones are the rare Scarce Large Blues (Maculinea teleius/Pimpernelblauwtje), a red-list species.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


This morning the alarm-clock went-off 1½ hour earlier. Before work, I went to the Leijgraaf, a small brooklet, near Uden to search for insects. Soon I found this emerging dragonfly. Experts told me that it is a Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum/Bruinrode Heidelibel). Unfortunelately (my damned sense of duty), I could not wait for her first flight. But there was plenty of time to make both a macro and a wide-angle version. Which one do you like better?

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Vosges butterflies

However, I also spent a few early mornings on scrutinizing a small mountain pasture close to our chalet. Here are my best results: Pearly Heath (Coenonympha arcania/Tweekleurig Hooibeestje), Heath Fritillary (Melitaea athalia/Bosparelmoervlinder), and some Marbled Whites (Melanargia galathea/Dambordje). The latter is very appropriately coined “checkerboard” in Dutch.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Winding staircase

From July 3rd to July 17th, I was on summer holiday in the Vosges, France. It was sunny and hot. I very much enjoyed reading “The Cosmic Landscape” of Leonard Suskin, with deepened my understanding of both quantum mechanics and cosmology. It enlarged my insight in these difficult subjects much more than when I studied physics at university.
In this region, especially along the heavily channeled Moselotte stream, there are many old abandoned textile factories. The rusty winding staircase attracted my attention somehow.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Soccer, heat, and a nightjar

What a day! Today the Dutch football team beat Brazil with 2-1, and went on to the semi-finals. Not only the match was ‘hot’, the temperature raised above 35°C. A big heath-fire on the “Strabrechtsche Heide” was hard to control. The fire-brigade was busy till after midnight, using helicopters to transport water taken from the local canals. In the village Nuenen, where I live, you could see and smell the smoke. Not far from there I was waiting (sweating like hell; it was still well over 30°C at 20h30 PM when this photo was taken!) under my camo-burka for this breeding Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus/Nachtzwaluw).