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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

I saw this moth on my kitchen window and it stayed there all day, just moving an inch or two down the pane…

I went outside and took this picture of its top side, which i hadn’t expected to be grey-brown

It turns out there was no need for excitement – this is simply the “dark” version of Cydalima perspectalis, the box-tree moth, which I had previously spotted in its paler form here.

This is an invasive species and I have seen far too many examples of this moth lately. At least I no longer have any box trees myself and this particular specimen looks rather worn and missing a few legs. Apparently they are around from late July until mid September, so as this is late October it is probably on the way out…

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I don’t get out much these days but noticed this mackerel sky over the New Theatre in the centre of Cardiff recently

The weather has been very changeable for several weeks, so there has been no shortage of this kind of sky in the area of Canton where I live…

…and another one – sorry they are just phone snapshots, nothing particularly composed about them

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Brimstone moth (Opisthograptis luteolata) in the bathroom at night

Sadly I don’t see many moths these days but the other night I noticed this medium-sized yellow moth perched on the bathroom tiles. I caught it in a glass and tried to make it go out through the window but of course it came straight back, attracted by the bright light. It soon disappeared behind a light fitting and I have not seen it since. I looked it up and it is a common British moth, the brimstone moth (Opisthograptis luteolata).

This reminded me that I saw another moth back in the heady days of July but forgot to blog about it at the time…

Mystery moth viewed through the bathroom window…

…view from outside the bathroom window – the moth stayed on the glass in bright sunlight for several hours

The medium-sized moth was spectacular but turned out to be an invasive species accidentally imported from south-east Asia. It is known as the box-tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) and was first seen in Kent in 2007. It has now spread through southern Britain. The larvae feed on box-tree foliage.

I did encounter a third moth over the last month, but was so keen to remove it from the house that I did not take a photo. It was a very dark shadow on the curtain net one night and turned out to be a large Mormo maura, the old lady moth or black underwing, It looked very sinister. I caught it in a glass and released it under a street light.

Although I didn’t snap it this time, I found that I had taken this picture of an old lady moth on an outside wall on July 18, 2011…

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Juvenile great spotted woodpecker [Dendrocopos major] in the garden, its beak messy with fat from the feeder

I thought our great spotted woodpeckers had failed to breed this year as for a long time all I saw was a solitary male. But a couple of weeks ago this young one appeared – although the top of its head is now fading from bright orange to red. The adult female has no red on its head and the adult male a red patch on the nape.

The other young birds are also growing up now…

Young blackbird [Turdus merula] on the bird bath

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This lovely golden Kalanchoe on the kitchen windowsill brightens my spirits when I am washing up the dishes…

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The Churchill College ladies’ eight in winter 1973 – that’s me in the front row on the right, during my first term at Cambridge University…

Today is the traditional Varsity Boat Race on the Thames in London, between Oxford University and Cambridge University, about which I am always nostalgic, although I have never been there to see it. There is a preview, from the point of view of Cambridge, here…

The first men’s race was in 1829 but nowadays there are four races – men’s and women’s plus the reserve crew races between Isis (Oxford) and Goldie (Cambridge) for the men and Osiris and Blondie for the women. (more…)

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I saw this in someone’s hedge today – a mass of blue lights with a bunch of yellow daffodils – the colours of the flag of Ukraine, to show solidarity in these terrible times…

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Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) in my Cardiff garden today – slightly out of focus but at last I caught it on camera…

I had considered posting an image every day in 2022 but that’s never going to happen. So I have decided on an occasional item as often as I can manage it. I have missed my chance over the last couple of hectic weeks so before I start this project properly, here is a catch-up of pictures I would have published one-by-one, had I not been too busy…

January 6, 2022: A red dawn today before a cold rain began

January 5, 2022: Frosted moss on the roof

New Year’s Eve, 2021: A festive snowman decoration

Boxing Day, 2021: Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) in the garden

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Something That Makes You Laugh or Happy: This tiny teddy bear among the ivy on top of a wall beside the street amused me for weeks, although it has disappeared now – I hope it has found its owner or gone to a good home

At last I think I have cracked this year’s Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt hosted by Mary-Lou at Patio Postcards. I skipped August as I had so little to report but here, belatedly, is my final round-up to complete the list of challenges… (more…)

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Something from the 2000s: A Cylon Centurion model from my Battlestar Galactica boxed set

It’s the second month for the Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt hosted by Mary-Lou at Patio Postcards – the next link-up will be on August 9.

I am still struggling to find many of these scavenger subjects but here are my latest efforts… (more…)

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