Coastal butterflies

Coastal butterflies

Sleeveless dresses, sunhat, sunglasses and don't forget the suncream. Is this Northern Ireland, were we love to talk about the weather, normally cold but refreshing with day after day of rain, after all this is why we have so much green. Are we the only two who long for those days when we can listen to the blackbird singing after a shower and smell the freshness around us after a summer of rain. Yesterday the blackbird lay in our garden, wings spread across the soil, in his attempt to cool off. Both of us will go outside to sing and dance if we hear the rain is returning for weeks to come! I know others are enjoying this unusually long spell of heat and I hope we can share the blessings we found by going to the coast in the evening to try and cool down.

 I see the sea

I see the sea

With temperatures soaring morning to night we have had to change our routine to cope as best we can with unusual for us temperatures. I much prefer to feel cold and wear several layers of my knitwear. I am photosensitive and keep out of the sun, only going out to escape my room which bakes in the evening. Layers of sunscreen, thicker than my skin to go for a walk in the evening, followed by cleansing all of the mineral sunblock off, exhausted! I have gone through so many tubes of cream in order to have an effective layer of protection on. I am glad we no longer have the desire to go on sun holidays and know for sure we won't move abroad to live in constant heat like this.  We set off for the coast after tea and didn't expect to find the grasses above the rocks and sand was home to the common blue butterflies. After all the formal gardens with the glimpse of one or two (maybe none) our trip to the sea turned into an evening of a butterfly dance. Not singing in the rain but dancing with the butterflies.

common blue and not just one or two

I don't know if the anyone passing by would have seen the tiny wings which caught my eye. We found the first one and dad wedged me up in the grass to try and take a photo with his camera but little did we know when we turned the corner we would find tiny wings dancing and one or two were friendly enough to perform on dad's finger! I had my iPhone and took several videos as they opened their wings to our sheer delight. They didn't seem to like my finger but dad was the platform for several of them to land on. I posted a short video to my Instagram account @minib and after this we decided to go back the flooring evening, this time I took my DSLR and renewed my love of macro shooting even if it meant lying down in the grass and coming home feeling I had the flu!

 flower girl

flower girl

The common blue seem to have a wonderful habitat here as we found them each evening on both beaches in county down. There was a few brown wings which just wouldn't settle at all but after a different walk last night (possibly a blog for another time) I eventually waited long enough for one to rest with a  similar flutter and found this was the Ringlet butterfly. Habitat the same as the beach we were at on this occasion. I have added a little gallery for you to click along and see what we saw including some stills of the butterflies that danced for my video on Instagram. The top three photos on the grid are taken with my iPhone x

Evenings to remember as we enjoyed a leisurely walk which is different from previous years when we went further and covered more miles but now I cant just keep up that pace we have found a lot more time for peaceful thoughts and reflections and even know what seats are when we see them along the path. They may not be the most comfortable but if they are in the shade they are acceptable. Perhaps by the end of the heatwave I will take my knitting along now that we actually stop along the way. Speaking about my knitting, my Atlas cardigan still needs the steek cut but my thoughts of wearing something wooly at the moment aren't quite right, for me. I have started a lace weight, short sleeved top, hoping when I finish it I will be too cold to wear it!

I will end this blog by setting the scene aside from the butterflies. We really don't realise how privileged we are to live so close to the coast and the country. Forest parks and the towpath didn't seem as refreshing to visit over the past nights, yet we could drive less than 30mins from our home and listen to the sound of the waves, and gulls (noisy) feel the sea breeze (too gentle but it was there) and look up to the broccoli trees! 

broccoli trees

Coasting along with along came dad : Crawfordsburn county down

One last photo....who could it be? Along came dad who told me to keep my iPhone at home when the next night he appeared to go for a walk, wearing his shorts...maybe a photo with legs next time ;)

 looking cool

looking cool

We are busy saving water as we have a hosepipe ban. In and out to the garden when we have water to recycle. It looks like our shower was fitted just in time as we aren't allowed baths! Remember the garden birds need water, even a saucer for them to drink and bathe. We have the bird bath plus several dishes and all are being used, with families arriving to drink and wash. It's vital the birds have water and more than ever. They will sing their thanks throughout the day. Thank you for reading our blog today. Beverley

Rock on

Rock on

Along came dad