Robin, little creatures and a Royal Fern in the woods

robin

There are so many Robin pictures in this post that I decided to link it to Robin’s blog Witlessdatingafterfifty 🙂 Please visit and follow!

So, I met this handsome little Robin, distracted him with a small talk and took out my camera. I kept talking and shooting, and he didn’t mind much and didn’t fly away because he was in his mid-moult at that time. It takes energy to build new feathers…

robin

… and it is itchy too.

robin

Robin changed his position and turned back to see if I still was there.

robin

I still was. He looked at me disapprovingly, and I quietly retired blowing him a kiss for a ‘thank you’.

robin

Here is another example of moulting – a grasshopper ‘skin’ we found in the backyard.

moulting

It is not a skin, of course, but his exoskeleton. To know more about grasshopper moulting,  watch this short video accompanied by romantic music. 🙂

I saw this colorful piece of land in my car window and made a note to visit it on my way back. It wasn’t easy to find it again but after the series of U-turns I finally parked on the opposite side of the road and took many photographs for a future use.

meadow

In this meadow, there are three weeds in bloom: Meadowsweet, Purple Loosestrife and unwelcome Ragwort.

This is Meadowsweet, a very popular herb of many uses I wrote about in my blog in 2014.

dropwort

The other plant is Purple Loosestrife. This is a closer look. Loosestrife is a very effective cure in case of chronic diarrhea and dysentery.

suir

From a distance, Loosestrife looks very similar to Rosebay, another great herb. If you struggle to put a name to a plant, here is a very good website Irish Plants by Color.

rosebay

The Ragwort seems like being good for nothing since it is toxic for the cattle and horses. Yet, Ragwort provides food and home for at least 77 species of insects, including Cinnabar moth.

cinnabar

Cinnabar moth’s larvae absorb toxic and bitter tasting alkaloids from Ragwort, and predators don’t eat them.

cinnabar

Another two little creatures I want to share – a funnel weaver spider…

spider

… and a hunting wasp Ammophila.

Ammophila

Both insects are great builders. Ammophila wasps even use small pebbles to hammer the earth when they make their nests. They hold the pebbles in their jaws.

Some creatures and plants are so amazing, that they get immortalized in mythology. Like Fern. Or, rather, Fern Flower. This magic flower from Finnish, Baltic and Slavic mythology can be found around the Summer Solstice. According to different myths, it can either give you an access to earthly riches and hidden treasures, or be a symbol of fertility and relationship, and searching for the fern flower in the dark of the shortest night of the year is a big part of celebration.

In fact, ferns are not flowering plants. However the clusters of sporangia of Royal Fern do resemble flowers. Especially in the dark 🙂

royal fern

Such fern grows in the Carey Castle woods, where I took this photograph. It wasn’t exactly the Summer Solstice night though 🙂


James Herriot, the most famous veterinary surgeon, was born 100 years ago, on October 3rd 1916. If you didn’t read his books yet, please do! I celebrated his birthday by rereading All Creatures Great And Small. 

James Herriot

Thank you for stopping by ! 🙂

inesemjphotography  Have a wonderful weekend!

154 comments

    1. Thank you so much! The Robin was a star. Pity I have no time to see him again these days. That photo session could be a start of a lifelong friendship 😉

  1. Inese, the little robin bird was adorable in every shot. You amused me by saying he was looking at you disapprovingly! 🙂
    Your blowing him a kiss would hopefully give him a warm and fuzzy feeling.
    I love spiders and other insects but the soft nestled spider was a gorgeous photograph.
    The mention of ragwort’s purpose makes me feel like you taught me my lesson for the day.
    Now, I will return the favor in the hopes I am informing you of something special! My brother gave my three children picture books with individual James Herriot’s stories. (Oscar, a cat story, Blossom, about a cow, Moses the Kitten and Bonny’s Big Day are 4- I have on my shelf. Such beautiful illustrations and I know your grandies will enjoy)
    The whole post had so much to offer which I feel blessed to have my name with blog attached to this! ~ xo Robin
    ** ~ ** thank you tremendously, dear friend! ** ~ **

    1. Robin, I m so delighted about the James Herriot’s picture books! The best gift!
      Glad you like the post. I don’t think I will ever meet a molting Robin again 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Awesome photographs. I love the little birds. Not so much insects, but your photographs take me to a beautiful place far away … I do enjoy them so. Thank you for sharing!
    g

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comment, John! Robin is the only bird available for photo sessions. Or a heron. The other birds never let me come close.

    1. Thank you! No, that wasn’t ragwort. Ragwort is the yellow one. The pink one is called differently in different countries, and Fireweed is one of the names, because it is one of the first plants that grow after the wild fire.

  3. Beautiful pictures!! The bird unknowingly just acted as the perfect model coming up with the best poses 🙂 And glad you too the U turns coz the place is absolutely amazing and a delight to be in. Really great shots!! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Mithai! He was perfectly aware of me, I was talking to him all the way 🙂 I was afraid to start changing lenses, so I was using my normal lens and moving closer to him until I was 4-5 feet away 🙂

  4. All awesome photos, Inese. I’d love to get some close-up shots of any kind of bird, but they never sit still long enough for me to focus the camera. Maybe my own impatience has something to do with it. I’ll just enjoy your photos instead.

  5. Beautiful photos, Inese. The Robin is adorable and doesn’t look mad at you at all. I love photos of insects, the tiny lives that fill the world around us, almost invisible unless we stop and look. Beautiful meadows too. When I lived next to a meadow in Vermont, I used to pick dried “weeds” like Meadowsweet to decorate my Christmas tree.

    1. Great idea for the Christmas tree decoration. We used to dry Meadowsweet for the winter arrangements, and of course for herbal tea.
      The Robin got annoyed in the end – I just couldn’t stop shooting 🙂

      1. You are a vet? That is so nice.
        The love for animals and nature is filled in your photographs. A true eye for beauty. (And I am not exaggerating, this is my genuine opinion)😃

  6. Fabulous photos again Inese. JH’s books are such a delight and probably set many a vet off on their careers??…Did you know that there’s another vet based at JH’s practice who has just published his first book and has a TV series? Can’t remember his name I’m afraid, though – someone might add it.
    Best wishes
    Julian

  7. What a lovely relaxing post, Inese. I can see why you’d make U turns to get to that gorgeous spot. All the photos are beautiful. You set the tone for this escape perfectly with the robin photos. Thank you for bringing us along. Mega hugs.

  8. This post was a perfect delight, Inese. Thanks so much for sharing the many living beauties you found, I really enjoyed seeing all the tiny creatures and the flowers and landscapes too. Especially intrigued by the cinnabar moth and the funnel weaver spider.

    1. Thank you so much, Jet! The cinnabar moth lives on Saltee island, and the caterpillar caught my attention on an inland meadow 🙂 I didn’t know they were related until I did my research 🙂

  9. Such lovely photos. You have such an eye for nature. Most see a field or bog as something to be gotten across and never know that they could spend a day and not see all there is to see. Every single wild plant has a use of some sort, so it’s great to see you pointing that out as well. Thank you for the beautiful and educational post.

  10. All of the photographs are wonderful as ever. I particularly like the one where the robin is looking straight at you. It almost likes like it’s an avian supermodel. 🙂

    1. Bun, I cannot tell how long he tolerated me. May be a half an hour, no less. The poor thing had problems with his feathers and had to stay and be my sitter. I have at least fifty pictures with all these poses and looks 🙂

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