The earlier pictures were taken on my wee compact Canon ixus 970IS, which involved sneaking up on the butterflies. This can be very frustrating when they fly off, but very rewarding when they don't!

Since 2012 I have been using a Panasonic Lumix FZ150, which allows me to zoom in to the butterflies from a couple of metres away.

Saturday, 7 September 2019


During my regular morning and evening dog walk, I usually go up a farm track close to where we live. There is a rather overgrown hedge there and two lovely old Ash trees.
It almost always strikes me, each time I walk under the trees, how they impact on the local environment. Obviously, if it is raining, then they shelter the track from the worst of the rain and when the wind is blowing they give shelter from the wind.

On hot sunny days the air is noticeably cooler under the trees and I have noticed on frosty mornings that the ground under the trees often remains unfrozen. They appear to act as air conditioning units protecting the ground below them from extremes of weather.
 I have long been an admirer of trees. I find it difficult to understand how they can support the enormous weight of their limbs. Their forms are so beautiful and they not only provide the oxygen we need to survive, but they provide homes for so many birds and invertebrates. There is so much more that we are learning about trees and their ability to communicate with each other.

For the last twenty years we have lived in a house with all our heating and hot water provided by long-burning stoves. And I love working with wood, admiring the different grains and forms.

However, it is the impact that these two trees have on their immediate environment that really impresses me. That makes what has been happening to the Amazon rain forest even more concerning. If two trees can make such a difference, what will the impacts be of the loss of thousands of acres of rain forest?


  1. you ask very good questions.
    when my trees fall over and I turn them into firewood, I watch that area over time to see how the environment changes, hotter, more light, more rain....
    I love trees!

    1. It is interesting, Tammie Lee. At our new house in the Scottish Borders, I helped my father removed a good number of trees, to allow more light to hit the ground. Now we have grass and wild flowers growing under the trees. There is obviously a balance to be reached. Possibly in the past there were more deer and grazers to keep the trees under control. Now we have to "manage" the woodland to keep it natural!!

  2. You have many good thoughts about how trees affect all of us. We too use wood for heat. Trees provide our planet with so much. I often think we take too much.

    1. I think we should all take more time to appreciate trees. They are so marvelous. Sadly, many people see them as a nuisance, dropping leaves and branches, shading light, or roots causing damage. I am pleased that recently people seem to be more aware of environmental issues and climate change. Maybe they will appreciate trees more now, too!

  3. I recently read about Chico Mendes who was a Brazilian rubber tapper, trade union leader and environmentalist. He fought to preserve the Amazon rainforest, and advocated for the human rights of Brazilian peasants and indigenous peoples. He was assassinated by a rancher on December 22, 1988. The Chico Mendes Institute for Conservation of Biodiversity in Brazil is named in his honor.