Padfield

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David M
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Re: Padfield

Postby David M » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:30 pm

Guy, you're killing me with those images, especially the last one of the glorious sunset.

I could happily trade butterflies for a handful of those natural events (and scenery), especially with the knowledge that spring would see me sharing my free time with such beauties as Large Tortoiseshell, QoS Fritillary and Clouded Yellow (amongst others!)

You are blessed! :)

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Pete Eeles
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Re: Padfield

Postby Pete Eeles » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:36 pm

Padfield wrote:This was taken on my walk home from school, crossing the Chesières bridge


Just brilliant. "Ice and fire" and definitely one to stick on the wall :)

Cheers,

- Pete

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Padfield
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Re: Padfield

Postby Padfield » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:06 pm

Thanks Mike, Dave and Pete. That sunset was no trick of the camera - quite remarkable to behold, though only for a few minutes.

Still on the gif theme, here is one of the Christmas tree in Villars-sur-Ollon. In fact, here are two - so they might take some time to load. The first is as it came out of the iPhone. The second I split, cleaned up a bit (to remove a distracting, jumping light in the background) and added text to. I split it using the free online resource at https://ezgif.com/. Then I removed the distraction frame by frame on my computer, uploaded the frames to the same website and added text. This process didn't seem to lessen the quality of the whole.

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And here's the weather on our forest walk today:

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Minnie loved it!

Guy
Guy's Butterflies: http://www.guypadfield.com

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MikeOxon
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Re: Padfield

Postby MikeOxon » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:53 pm

We're now doing our best to catch up with the snow fall - though not quite up to your standard yet! Super animated Christmas tree :)

Mike

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Andrew555
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Re: Padfield

Postby Andrew555 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:33 am

Nice job with the tree Guy, I would love to walk down that forest path. :)

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David M
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Re: Padfield

Postby David M » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:51 pm

For once, Guy, most of us here in the UK have seen similar scenes (though I personally have not).

Good job Minnie has got dark ears, otherwise she'd look like a big lump of snow. :)

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Padfield
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Re: Padfield

Postby Padfield » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:44 pm

Thanks Mike, Andrew and David.

Apart from a brief episode when the Föhn blew and quite a lot of snow melted, we've had full-on winter here for the last few weeks. I don't know how Minnie manages to scuttle around in the snow without getting cold - it doesn't seem to bother her at all.

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If anyone's gambled on a Christmas ski break, the gamble's paid off! The pistes are open and the installations working.

Guy
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trevor
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Re: Padfield

Postby trevor » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:04 pm

And a merry Christmas to you and Minnie.
Another day, just before Christmas, worth celebrating is the passing of the shortest day !.

Great snow scenes,
Trevor.

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Re: Padfield

Postby Wurzel » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:48 pm

Happy Solstice and Christmas to you and Minnie Guy :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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David M
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Re: Padfield

Postby David M » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:16 pm

Minnie is one of the happiest dogs in the world, Guy, and she could be buried in 12 inches of snow and she wouldn't care!

Your world looks both enticing and threatening at the same time - we're simply not used to that level of snowfall in most places over here.

If your instinct is correct, I daresay there'll be precious little for you to report prior to Christmas, so all the best, and we look forward to seeing images afresh of early Queens, Clouded Yellows, et al in the New Year.

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Re: Padfield

Postby Padfield » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:30 pm

Thank you, Trevor, Wurzel and David, and a very happy Christmas to you all too!

In recent years I've been watching butterflies into December - with a Berger's clouded yellow on 18th December 2015 and Queen of Spain fritillaries in the Rhône Valley on 20th December of the same year. Currently, the Rhône Valley is under thick snow and the temperature there today never rose above –4°C. Here is Minnie near Leuk this afternoon:

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Yesterday she struggled valiantly round a long local walk, following in my footsteps:

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I had to pick her up when it got too much for her because it really was very cold.

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Guy
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David M
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Re: Padfield

Postby David M » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:55 pm

In spite of all that snow, I bet your trains are still running, Guy? :)

Merry Christmas to you, and let's hope your cold spell translates into good butterfly numbers in 2018.

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Re: Padfield

Postby Wurzel » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:24 pm

A stunning Winter Wonderland Guy :D Happy New Year - full of even more butterflies than usual :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Padfield

Postby Padfield » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:49 pm

Thanks David and Wurzel - and a happy new year to you both.

Storm Eleanor seems to have caused total havoc in my woods, with trees fallen all over the place and branches scattered everywhere:

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(part of our usual daily walk ...)

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(a little sallow corner, completely taken out by a fallen tree - I have often found purple emperor eggs and caterpillars here)

As you can see, warm winds (and rain) have melted most of the snow at this altitude.

Passing some wych elm I saw several branches had been broken. I was wearing the wrong clothes to go digging around in the brambles and other undergrowth, but a quick check on a few fallen twigs revealed some white-letter hairstreak eggs:

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I took them home to keep in the fridge for now. Advice on how best to proceed to give them (and the others I shall go looking for) a chance of living would be greatly appreciated.

I examined one egg under the microscope at home. It was difficult to take photos (I used my iPhone, straight down the eyepiece...) but I think this egg might not be viable anyway, as it seems to have a tiny hole:

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The hole is at about 4.00 o'clock in this image:

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It was difficult to get the iPhone to focus on the hole itself, but it did really look like a tiny perforation through the microscope.

Guy
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David M
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Re: Padfield

Postby David M » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:12 pm

I sense you are going to have your hands full with these early stages in a few weeks, Guy. What better pastime could one indulge in though?

Amazing how your snow has vanished so quickly. Like you, we too have had storms and it's currently quite an effort to escape from my private estate without driving over various detached components of wind-battered trees!

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Re: Padfield

Postby Padfield » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:12 pm

David M wrote:I sense you are going to have your hands full with these early stages in a few weeks, Guy.


They'll go back on the elm at the earliest opportunity, David! But you're right - spring is only weeks away ...

Because the forecast was for sun, I popped down to the valley today. I didn't really expect to see anything, especially as there was a bit of a breeze blowing, but in the event a single red admiral cruised past and I saw a couple of Queens of Spain. Neither stopped anywhere near me but one did pause briefly at the top of a high bank, allowing a proof shot on full zoom:

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So far as I know, this is the only place in Europe where Queen of Spain fritillary can reliably be seen on any sunny day, any month of the year. Even in Spain and the South of France you have to wait until February or March.

Guy
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trevor
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Re: Padfield

Postby trevor » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:56 pm

Incredible !.

All the best for 2018.

Trevor.

Chris Jackson
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Re: Padfield

Postby Chris Jackson » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:35 am

Its astounding how that snow has suddenly melted, Guy.
The east of France has also had a melt and some flooding recently.
Good on you for saving the eggs, they would probably be doomed on fallen (dead) trees.
Chris
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Pete Eeles
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Re: Padfield

Postby Pete Eeles » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:48 am

Padfield wrote:Advice on how best to proceed to give them (and the others I shall go looking for) a chance of living would be greatly appreciated.


Great work Guy! The biggest challenge with White-letters in captivity, in my experience, is that the eggs hatch too early, and the larvae develop too quickly. I've tried everything possible, but they still speed through their development. My only suggestion is to keep the eggs in the fridge, then wait for the elms to come into flower. That would be the time to take the eggs out of the fridge, put them in an airtight box, and wait for the larvae to hatch (in 1-3 days from memory). Carefully using a fine artists' brush, you can then transfer the larvae to an elm flower bud. If you also want to keep track of them, then you could put a sleeve over the branch (so long as you know that passers by won't remove them!). An alternative is to tie the twigs containing the eggs to other twigs, where the larvae should eventually make their way to the flower buds.

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Padfield

Postby Padfield » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:57 pm

Thanks Trevor and Chris, and all the best for 2018 to you both.

Thanks Pete. What you describe is more or less what I had intended to do, but it is good to have confirmation. I won't attempt to keep track of them after release, as I can always find w-album cats on the elm leaves anyway. Sleeves on the branches would definitely attract attention!

I had another look for eggs yesterday but it is actually very difficult, as some twigs have fallen over a bramble bank, some have been blown far in the wind and some have been crushed into the dirt by walkers. I picked up just one viable egg and one broken one:

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Guy
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