Robin, little creatures and a Royal Fern in the woods


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…


… and it is itchy too.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


… and a hunting wasp 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!


      1. Not yet, Inese. We are working on the house in stages, as each month’s money comes in. I think it will be near enough to next summer before we make the move there. Still, I can’t complain, I’m living in the Sunny South East. 🙂

  1. We have a robin who lives in our garden and is always happy to stop and pose for a while. He’s started to look a bit moth-eaten recently, we hope that he’s just moulting and not getting too old. Robins are so charismatic and friendly, I’d be sorry to see him go.

    Also, that grasshopper skin is incredible!

    1. Thank you so much! I too hope your Robin still has a good long life to live. They are friendly and happy birds.

      We have found more skins like this one. There are hundreds of grasshoppers in the front yard for the young children to observe.

  2. A wonderful mix of photos and interesting snippets about nature. Around where I live, it’s the red soldier beetles that congregate on the ragwort in particular, although I have seen the occasional cinnabar moth on it, too.

  3. Such a beautiful post dear Inese… I especially like how you capture the little Robin´s successive movements…Lovely!… Wishing you a great weekend ahead ❤ Aquileana 😉

  4. You know how joyful the song of a bird is in the morning when you wake up and for a moment, you can almost believe he’s singing just for you? Well, the robin in your post actually had you talking directly to him — I’m sure he found joy in that! I know I would. Lovely post and photos, Lady Inese.

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet and poetic comment, Dead D! I am very grateful that we share the same world with birds. I wish they were as happy about us humans as we are about them. xxxx

  5. I remember in the middle of the summer I was sitting on the front steps
    And a butterfly landed on my hand and just stayed there for the longest time
    nature does speak if you take the time to listen
    As always Sheldon

  6. What beauty you show us! I love the robin, I love the plants and you even convince me to love the insects! Well done & TY!!!

    1. I’d never seen such a striking moth in red and black! Such stunning photographs as always, Inese. The fern sounds fascinating, and I’ll be doing more research on that plant. You’re a walking encyclopedia, dear friend. xo

      1. Thank you Rose 🙂 I find a lot of stuff in the internet, but I do know herbs, and Summer Solstice celebration is imprinted in my genes 🙂 The moth looks striking. I have seen them only a few times in Ireland and once in the US. This picture is not clear because it was taken in windy conditions on Saltee Island. Cinnabar moth caterpillar is a common sight on ragwort plants.
        Thank you again for your lovely comment! xxxx

    1. Oh I was on your blog, reading, and re-reading, and admiring the photographs. I just cannot tell how happy I am for all of you. I too have a daughter and I know what it means to worry about your daughter’s future. Sending my love and huge hugs xxxxxxx

      1. I did really worry about her. I got beyond sad for her. I guess you just want the best for your daughters that way. One of the reasons I wanted a house with a spare room when we moved two years back was that she had no-one at her back at that point. If anything had gone wrong with her job or her health she could not have kept on her rented flat. I am so happy for her. he is such a great guy. I could not ask for better for her.
        Thank you for your hugs my darling. They mean so much to me xxxxx

    1. Thank you so much! The moth picture is a little bit blurred – I took it on Saltee Island, and it was quite windy at that time. The caterpillar picture is taken somewhere in Co Waterford. Have never seen them together 🙂

  7. I just love your nature walks, Inese, and am amazed at your wonderful findings and observations. The robin in Ireland is quite different from our robins here in New England, in size, shape and coloration…but he’s just adorable, as you have presented him…and what a find is that exoskeleton! Loosestrife is abundant here, and I remember how it practically clogged some of the waterways where I used to go canoeing. As for All Creatures Great and Small, I came to know that through the British TV series that ran on Public Television here in the States. It used to come on every Saturday night, and I would never, ever miss it!

    1. Thank you so much, Cynthia! It is amazing how these two visually different birds go by the same name ‘Robin’.
      My granddaughters an I found that grasshopper skin in the backyard. Grasshoppers are not welcome here at all, but the chickens love them and chase with passion.
      It is so wonderful that you know the TV series. I don’t know if any of his books are available in your local library, but you would enjoy the illustrations and the explanations to them.

  8. Inese, thanks for your beautiful photos and lessons of Nature. Even the toxic plant has its place in a healthy ecosystem. Can we say the same for toxic individuals? Perhaps such individuals serve as reminders of the dangers of self-indulgence.

    1. Thank you so much! Everything has its place. Sometimes a toxic individual fulfills his or her function that we have no idea about 🙂 You know how it is – we can only see one side of the picture 🙂 Just make sure the toxins don’t get under your skin 🙂

  9. The robin is so cute and the way he poses to you. It looks like just love having you taking pictures of him and your captures of him are wonderful!

    Other creatures are intriguing, I love the view that peek into the spider web. That is so cool.

    Lovely post!

  10. The robin photos are beautiful and do make me smile 🙂 I’ll head over to Robin’s blog now for a visit too. Raising my cup of coffee to say “cheers” for the weekend xx

    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 😉

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

    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.

  13. 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 🙂

  14. 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.

  15. 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)😃

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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 🙂

  19. 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.

  20. 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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