Sunday, 3 May 2015

Weapons, hunting or war - Sunday Stamps II

My stamps this week come from North Africa and Great Britain.

This Egyptian stamp from 1953 shows and Egyptian soldier in uniform, tin hat and with a rifle on his shoulder.

Egypt
The Libyan Revolution of 1 September 1969 which led to the overthrow of the Kingdom of Libya (King Idris) was carried out by the Free Officers Movement with the rebel officers led by Colonel Muammer Gaddafi. I'm sure you know what happened to him.

Libya - 1970
The Royal Mail commemorated the 50th Anniversary of D-Day with a set of five stamps. This is the one I have:

Great Britain - 6 June 1944
One of the earliest poems I learnt at school began:

William the Conqueror 1066
Said to his captains
I mean to affix
England to Normandy
So go out and borrow
Some bows and some arrows
We're starting tomorrow.

This set was issued in 1966 to commemorate the 900th Anniversary of  the Battle of Hastings.





Can you see where Harold got one in the eye in these battle scenes from the Bayeux Tapestry?

For other bellicose offerings check out the links at Sunday Stamps-ii-20.

Friday, 1 May 2015

The Grass is Greener - Good Fences 58

Even during the A-Z Challenge I've managed to find a fence or two.

The first would not prevent this animal from escaping:


A young rabbit explores
While a horse knows where the best grass grows.

And can reach it without too much effort
This is a 

post linked to Good-fences-58.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

A - Z Challenge 2015 - Butterflies 'Z'

Z - Zerene cesonia

Well we have got to 'Z' and it's time for you to work out what the butterfly will be. It's not a Zebra Swallowtail even although I did consider that.

Here are a couple of clues.


His name is Finn
But that's a red herring.

This is Scout (but you don't need to know this)
Finn and Scout live in the southern part of Michigan - this should help, if you have identified the feature common to each photo.

Here's the pattern on the butterfly's wing.

What does it look like to you?
Hint: Finn and Scout each have one. Remember where they live and you should be able to work out that Zerene cesonia is a butterfly called ,,,,,, wait for it.

If you have read all my earlier posts you will have seen the lyrics to a song unfold line by line. Listen to it now before you check the answer.


Zerene cesonia is a -

Southern Dogface
I hope that this was not too difficult for you to work out.

Thanks and congratulations to everyone who has completed this year's challenge, visited and commented on 'my' butterflies.

Photo attributions:
  • Zerene cesonia, dogface pattern; by Megan McCarthy, 17 Oct 2008 - Public domain
  • Southern Dogface; by Megan McCarthy, 17 Oct 2008 - Public domain


Wednesday, 29 April 2015

A - Z Challenge - Butterflies 'Y'

Y - Yellow butterflies - Clouded Yellows

I introduced a yellow butterfly, the Brimstone, under the letter 'B' so that we knew early on where the term 'butterfly' originated.

Apart from the Brimstone there are three species of yellow butterflies seen in Britain; all are migrants from the warmer parts of Europe. As immigration is a hot topic in the current election campaign I just hope the Clouded Yellows continue to be welcomed on our shores.

The Common Clouded Yellow is a deep orange-yellow although you would not think so looking at its underside.


Common Clouded Yellow
This specimen however shows its 'orange' colour. You might be forgiven for saying this isn't a yellow butterfly at all.

Common Clouded Yellow
It's sometimes called  the Dark Clouded Yellow instead.

As its name implies the Pale Clouded Yellow, together with Berger's Clouded Yellow is much paler.

Berger's Clouded Yellow - specimen
Berger's Clouded Yellow
The green caterpillars of all three feed on clover and lucerne. The adults emerge in autumn, If any new caterpillars are produced they rarely survive the British winter.

Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

I feel it when you're with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Your laughter brings me sunshine
Every day is spring time
And I am only happy when you are by my side
How precious is this love we share
How very precious, sweet and rare
Together we belong like daffodils and butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Photo attributions:

  • Common Clouded Yellow (on thistle), by Katya, 2 June 2014 - CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Common Clouded Yellow specimen, upload by Sareto, 19 September 2007 - CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Berger's Clouded Yellow specimen, 26 July 2014, by Durni - CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Berger's Clouded Yellow, by Zeynei Cebeci (Turkey) - CC BY-SA 4.0

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A - Z Challenge 2015 - Butterflies 'X'

X - Xerces Blue

It was Hilary Melton-Butler who first told me about this butterfly otherwise I would have struggled for 'X'.

"When the tiny wings of the last Xerces Blue Butterfly ceased to flutter our world grew quieter by a whisper and duller by a hue."      Robert C Kuhman

When affordable homes were built on the sand dunes of western San Francisco in the early 20th century the tiny beautiful butterfly was doomed to extinction as the main source of food for its caterpillars disappeared.

Now if you want to see one you have to visit the basement of the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Three drawers of them, in neat rows on the ends of pins are kept in a climate -controlled vault.

The French entomologist Boisduval named the butterfly after the Persian King Xerxes but used the French spelling - Xerces.

The last known specimens were taken in the early 1940s. Its tiny wings had a span of 7/8 - 1.1/4 inches about the size of a the end of a man's thumb.

The only photo I can find of the Xerces Blue is by Tom Prete of the Ocean Beach Bulletin and is copyright protected. I can work up no enthusiasm for including a picture of the specimens in those drawers, so I 'd rather show none.

It also seems rather ironic to me that Boisduval has another blue butterfly named after him.


Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

I feel it when you're with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Your laughter brings me sunshine
Every day is spring time
And I am only happy when you are by my side
How precious is this love we share
How very precious, sweet and rare
Together we belong like daffodils and butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside

Monday, 27 April 2015

A - Z Challenge 2015 - Butterflies 'W'

W - Wall, Large White

At this time in the Challenge I sometimes feel as though I am banging my head against a - 


Wall (Lasiommata megera)
Perhaps its Latin name should be Myheadius brickus! 

However this brown butterfly gets its name from its characteristic behaviour of resting with its wings two-thirds open on any bare surface, including bare ground and on walls, of course.

Wall on bare ground (and photo-bombed by my shadow)
Numbers have declined in previous years but the one on the knapweed and the one above were quiet happy to warm up in the North Yorkshire sun.

When I was a young boy it was common for us to catch and keep Cabbage Whites in a jar on the local allotments where they laid their eggs on cabbage leaves. The term Cabbage White is applied to several common white butterflies especially the Small and Large Whites which are very similar in appearance.

The caterpillars of the Large White are very colourful.

Large White Butterfly Caterpillar on a leaf
You can see quite clearly where it has eaten the edge away. It was my job to remove them from my Dad's cabbages before too much damage was done.

We expect to see white butterflies in early April each year. Despite their numbers I have never photographed one.

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
The female has the black spots on the wings - no spots means it a male.

I hope that I have added my own shot(s) to this before 'W' is posted - No such luck, no white butterflies seen this year yet.


Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

I feel it when you're with me
It happens when you kiss me
That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside
Your touch is soft and gentle
Your kiss is warm and tender
Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings
Love makes your heart feel strange inside
It flutters like soft wings in flight
Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

Your laughter brings me sunshine
Every day is spring time
And I am only happy when you are by my side
How precious is this love we share
How very precious, sweet and rare
Together we belong like daffodils and butterflies

Love is like a butterfly
As soft and gentle as a sigh

Photo attributions:
  • Large White Butterfly Caterpillar: 6 August 2014, by Michael Palmer - CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Large White Butterfly (Pieris brassicae): 10 July 2006, geograph.org.uk, by Anne Burgess - CC BY-SS 2.0




Sunday, 26 April 2015

Dinosaurs and Large Animals - Sunday Stamps II

As I had used all my stamps of large animals previously I had to pay a visit to my local market stall and the town's flea market to meet this week's theme.

I finished up with stamps from countries that I had no others previously.

Laos - 1958
There were two other elephants in this set of three,


Laos
From the West Indies I found a sheet of prehistoric animals which fits the theme perfectly.

St Vincent and the Grenadines
The dinosaurs shown are:
  • Protoavis
  • Pterodactyl
  • Quetzalcoatius
  • Lesothosaurus
  • Heterodontosaurus
  • Archeopteryx
  • Cearadactylus
  • Anchisaurus
I'll confess to only recognising two of these.

Quite a successful shopping trip, don't you agree?

Check out what other dinosaurs remain at Sunday-stamps-ii-19.