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Catching Up With the Calendar
Animals, plants and insects are racing to catch up with the calendar.

For proof, here we have wood anemones

Wood  Anemone



(though the accompanying wild garlic is only in bud)



And lots of blossom, not to mention catkins on the willows and hornbeams.

Hornbeam - buds and catkins

There are also very many butterflies. Today we saw lots of Orange Tips and Large Whites, but they went out of camera range. However, one rather battered Peacock obligingly posed...

Peacock Butterfly 4

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That's a great shot of the peacock. I've seen a couple of them in the garden, plus several small blues ( probably holly blues), which are amazingly hard to take pics of because they dart about all over.

I've got some decent pics of Common Blues, which we get around here, but haven't got one of a Peacock before, so was chuffed with this.

My garden gets loads of them later in the year - they love the buddleia. I took some fairly good shots of some of them last summer, but you have a much better camera ;-)

I'm still hoping to catch another sight of a speckled wood - there was a single one in the garden last year, very late in the season, and of course I hadn't got my camera at hand, and missed it.

Locally, we get lots of Speckled Woods and Meadow Browns, Essex Skippers and Large and Small Skippers, plus Gatekeepers, Common Blues, Orange Tipped and the occasional Brimstone, as well as Red Admirals, Painted Ladies and Peacocks. However, we have two rarities - the White Admiral, which we see frequently on brambles and the Purple Hairstreak which we have yet to even see, let alone photograph. It lives high in the trees. We are still hoping, though.

I've had Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, and Red Admirals and Painted Ladies, plus the occasionally a Comma, but never an Orange Tipped or Brimstone - wrong sort of area, I suspect.

We've had at least one comma in the garden, and I photographed another in the forest, but they are fairly rare around here.

The Hainault Forest website says we have Ringlets and Holly Blues but I have yet to see them.

Would you believe, I just saw an Orange Tipped in the garden? :-D Never seen one before, and it flew away before I could get a shot of it, but it was there \o/ I was ridiculously excited.

With any luck it might drop in again, long enough for me to take its picture.

You've probably seen a lot of female Orange Tipped without realising what they were... They don't have the tips and look a bit like a Marbled White...

That's entirely possible - though we mainly get cabbage and small whites here. But I shall keep an eye out for possible sightings of females - if there are ladies about, the male might come back to catch a mate. The holly blues are definitely at it!

That shot of the butterfly on the blossom is wonderful!

I haven't seen any butterflies yet, but there were the first bluebells out in sheltered spots when I took Brith for his walk last Friday.

You're fairly high up, aren't you? Which is, I daresay, why you are later.

We're probably not higher, at least not where my house is. Squinting at the contour lines on the map seems to indicate that we're only about 150 feet above sea level. Of course we get the strong westerly winds and the moment you set foot outside town, you start to climb, so that, along with the poorer soils, probably accounts for nature being a bit behind here.

We're a tad lower than you (40 metres above sea level, which is quite high for Essex!) but not enough to make a difference. It's all pretty open, though, and most land about is actually lower...

Let me rephrase that. Hainault and Fairlop, where we walk the dogs and most of the photos are taken is 40 metres above sea level.

Our village is actually 280 feet above sea level. There's this 'ere hill...

Edited at 2013-05-05 08:22 pm (UTC)

You're way ahead of us. We've still got daffodils out. No sign of bluebells yet.

Well, you are in something of a cold spot. A month ago you were almost snowed in!

We're not only further north, but we're almost 1000 ft above sea level. The hawthorn is starting to green up, though, so spring is on its way. Fingers crossed for the blossom on the fruit trees. We had not one fruit on plum pear or on our three apple trees last year. There was an early spring in April followed by frosts and winds, so the blossom didn't set.

Crossing my fingers for your fruit. Everything is blooming like crazy down in the soft South and, unless we get a late frost in the next week or so, most of the fruit will set.

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