We all know the phrase 'the right place at the right time' and two days in a row this happened to us. The first occasion we don't have any photographic evidence but our minds are indelibly stamped with the sight of our overnight guest, a tiny Red Admiral butterfly. Dad was in the right place as he noticed the flutter of wings. Further investigation into the garden, we found our master of disguise, what would appear to have been a crumpled leaf on the branch was our B&B guest on Friday night. Long time readers of our blog may recall the time we found a similar, crumpled leaf on a tree in Mount Stewart which I had named a master of disguise. The beautiful colours we see when wings are spread or half folded, change to a crisp, wrinkled leaf. The branch kept him safe until the sun warmed up the next day, when I was in the right place to see him fly away. Both of us paid a visit outside first thing on Saturday morning to see if he had rested all night. Despite knowing where he was, we still had difficulty 'seeing' him - such a master of disguise, for his safety and our delight in the wonders of nature.
Yesterday, I was knitting, dad was deciding if the rain would stay away to let him garden. The sun blinked out; we had an ongoing, stay home, go out until we fancy decided to leave our plans and go out. I will now share our next 'right place, right time but this time with photos. We went to the National Trust gardens at Rowallane. I thought I would be writing about the one that got away, but little did we know, this one came out to play! The first sight my mind overflowing with joy as I whispered to dad about seeing a dragonfly around the lake. This was enough to make my day but then dad saw one, and knew it wasn't my vivid imagination! One turned to two and two to three but all of them skimming over the lake and no matter how many camera lens we had, there was no chance to take a photo. Both of us were caught up in the scene and didn't mind as we knew what we saw was a wonderful sight and would be added to our memory bank. I will add some photos of our star performer before I add any more words as despite my social shyness, when I type my mind overflows with my love of nature and takes over with words. I will continue our story after some photos, for anyone who cares to read the longer version. We were heading back to the car, with a whirl of wings, this one saw somewhere to cling, our day wasn't over as The moorland/common hawker dragonfly, was spreading his wings for a fly by.
Dad was an attraction for this mighty dragonfly, he could hear and feel him when he hovered about. Unlike my friends from warmer climes, we don't just see these around every corner and this is why, we didn't care who watched us as we were absorbed in the scene. It was a Heritage day with the National Trust therefore more people than normal. Both of us observed that people were walking by and didn't see what we saw, hovering in the sky. A few years ago, another one took a fancy to dad and landed on his forehead! Facebook reminded me about this event (I rarely visit Facebook now but I seemed to go at the right time, last week) He wasn't interested in me and if anyone remembers a blog from a few years ago, it was the tiny damselflies who liked me and the reflective strips on my fleece!
I had to forget about rushing home to make dad's dinner and than maybe I would knit as this was an opportunity we didn't want to miss. It was a time to hold my breath and hope I was in focus as sometimes he flitted away, before stopping to rest or feed. Our joy was obvious, we shared this moment and I just wished I could have had all my friends who are facing different situations in their lives as I knew they shared my love of nature and this would have helped them to cope. I resolved to type a blog for them and hope they will find a little time for calm through our experience. I know what it is like to feel alone but when things like this happen, shyness and stress can fly away.
Pop each photo to see our hawker feeding and resting. Observe the strength in his body. The gossamer fineness of his wings. I could never express the delicate beauty of the stained glass, effect of his wings, trimmed with gold like fine gossamer. I really had to balance time to observe and time to click as my mind was torn between both. I trust you will share the joy we had, when we were in the right place, at the right time.
Below are a few more photos from yesterday, which I wanted to add as part of our fungi finds. One in particular, the Earthstar mushroom. This marks the first one we have found this year. Last year, they were a mystery when we found them but now we look for them. If we had touched the soft centre, black spores would have puffed out. They start all covered with the outer layer which bursts open to show a star-like case. Textures, shapes and colours, created before man made things we all use today. A creative mind, sees the world from a different perspective, at least mine does.
Pop along each of the photos
impressions - of yesterday left - in our eyes