Wild West Yorkshire, Saturday 9 October 2010
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Comma, peacock and small tortoiseshell on the michaelmas daisies
WITH MY Olympus Tough on its macro setting I hold it as close to a butterfly as I can without disturbing it. I've just got to hope that the auto-focussing latches onto the butterfly itself and not one of the surrounding flowers. It didn't do a bad job; half of the shots were in focus. The only species that was out of range was a red admiral which was feeding right at the back of the clump.
It's a good time of year to clear out the pond, now that the frogs and newt tadpoles have developed but before everything closes down for the winter and I run the risk of disturbing hibernating frogs. Between the stems of the floating pennywort that has taken over the open water theres a spongy growth of moss. I usually get a rake and haul out the whole matted mass but it's got too well established this year so I pick out the moss handful by handful and in an hour I've cleared half of the pond.
It's the first time I've used my new pond gloves; my old pair (left) were nibbled by a rodent in the garden shed.
A solid mass of yellow flag iris now takes up a third of the pond. It didn't flower much this year so I'd like to remove it altogether and try a different emergent plant that won't take over as quickly. Teasing out the moss will make it easier when it comes to the more difficult task of dealing with the rhizomes of the flag iris.
Richard Bell, illustrator
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