Mosses and lichens - miniature landscape

Discovering mosses and lichens

When I was writing about the wildflowers and plants of Hvar, I intended to include a couple of photos of mosses. I was greatly taken with the feathery green clumps I’d seen on shady walls and paths through the local woodland. However, having worked hard to identify the flowering plants, I was completely intimidated by…

Vines with last year's growth

Winter textures in the landscape

With the lower level of light in December and January, I’ve been noticing more textures and patterns as we’re out and about on the local trails. The slanting sun is great at picking out the underlying structures and surfaces in a cool, muted colour palette. In this vineyard, for example, last year’s growth shows as…

A better landing

Nesting swallows (V) – taking to the air

After watching the nest remotely for a few days, I was thrilled to catch sight of a chick take flight from the nest and land on the nearby light. That was Saturday 23 June, at 8:26am. The new fledgling was fed by a parent there, looked around for a while and returned to the nest,…

Dinner is served

Nesting swallows (IV) – testing wings

Our little swallow chicks are still on the nest, although there’s been plenty of flapping going on. We’ve taken to watching them on our nestcam, as they go very still and flat when we open the door. Not so interesting to watch! Here are a couple of photos, though, to show what a difference a…

Woodland Grayling - glimpse of upper side

Lunch with a butterfly – Woodland Grayling

To get a good photo of a butterfly, ideally it comes to us, and is considerate enough to land peacefully while we grab the camera! This guy visited us at the Artichoke wine bar in Jelsa while we were having lunch. Not one I’d seen before, with yellow markings on a very dark upperside. Trouble…

Preening

Nesting swallows (III) – real little birds now

Our little chicks are developing rapidly into miniature versions of their parents! Their wing feathers are almost completely in, although the tails are still stubby little markers for the graceful long forked tails of adulthood. As I stand quietly in the shade of the opposite doorway, one of the parents checks me out carefully. No…

Alert chicks!

Nesting swallows (II) – growing feathers

A quick update on our Barn Swallow nestlings, as I’ve just been outside to check with the zoom lens. They certainly are growing fast and look much more alert! It’s now very clear that they have their eyes open and feathers are growing. And is that a tinge of russet colour? I can tell from…

Feeding frenzy

Lucky us – we have nesting swallows!

I’m happy to report that the good fortune of our house is assured for the summer at least. This is due to the presence of a little swallow family nesting in the porch by our front door. We did try to explain to them that it wasn’t the quietest of locations, but neither parents nor…