Wednesday, March 4, 2015

In Pursuit of Butterflies, a 50 year affair

In Pursuit of Butterflies, a 50 year affair will be published by Bloomsbury on June 4th.  

The book chronicles diverse adventures in time and place with British butterflies, and a vast array of caterpillars and suchlike.  Adventures range from the sublime to the ridiculous and back. 
The essential subject is butterflying, but love of place figures strongly, and love of periods in time (such as the long hot summer of 1976 and July 2013).

450 pages including 16 pages of colour prints (2 per page), plus black & white line drawings by Tim Bernhard.  It's a big book but it's designed so you can dip in and out of it at will.

There's a pre-publication offer of £17.09, down from £18.99.  Here's the link -   

The One Butterfly that matters more than the rest strung together and multiplied by pi r squared features prominently, especially in the early and later chapters.  The front cover is, of course, exclusively purple.

To whet your appetite, here's an aberrant male iris, I photographed in Hampshire back in 1981 -


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The 2015 Challenge

In line with Matthew's desire to focus his efforts on 'Herself' this season, I have devised a cunning challenge.

Currently in production are 20 very special pin badges depicting 'Herself'. They are slightly larger than the original Purple Emperor badge I produced last year so as to maintain the scale.

The only way to get one is to participate in the 2015 challenge. To qualify you must be a be a blogger on the Purple Empire blog and post a good quality photograph of 'Herself' here on the blog. The only other rules are: 1) The photo must be taken this year. 2) It must be clearly discernible as a female of the species. 3) It must be in a natural setting. Due to the very limited number of badges it will be one badge per person.

The badges will have a suitably apt and silly backing card. Be mindful though that they will be offered on a first come, first served basis so you'll need to be quick.

If you've not been fortunate enough to see a female, she's a much rarer and bigger beast than the male. If you have seen one then you'll already be smitten.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Getting Through Winter

Nearing the end of February and I still haven't lost any of my five hibernating larvae to predation, and none has moved either.  This is in stark contrast to last winter when by late Feb 50 out of 64 had vanished to assumed predation, and several had moved in the mild conditions.  The tits don't seem to have found them this time round.  Up yours titmice!

Here's one of the lovely survivors.  It's greened up a tinge - 

And Another - 

They've got a fair while to wait still, not least because sallows have scarcely started to silver up yet as the weather has been quite cold since mid-January.

Here's my first butterfly of the year, seen earlier this week - and the good news is that it's a Nymphalid year -

Monday, February 16, 2015

50 Shades...

In cinemas from Fri Feb 20th, The Duke of Burgundy: Lesbian S&M version of 50 Shades... set in a timeless world inhabited only by women who are obsessed with butterflies.  Certificate: Over 18.

Here's a preview:

Coming soon: 50 Shades of Purple, film noire by Neil Fellini...

Friday, February 6, 2015

Multi Spectral Images

I had some fun today using a Multi Spectral Imager:

Monday, February 2, 2015

Latest Photos

Two hibernating larvae photographed near Savernake Forest yesterday.  They've both greened up a tinge, but have also shrunk a tiny bit which happens in cold weather.  They're fine.

My thanks to Pete Eeles and my son, Arion, for sorting out my picture-posting problems...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Into February!

Delighted to report that I still haven't lost any wild hibernating larvae to predation so far this winter, albeit from a small sample.  This is in stark contrast to this time last year, when larvae were being picked off at an alarming rate. 

Also, I have now seen iris in the wild, in one or more of its life stages, for 69 consecutive months - and if that's not obsessive I don't know what is. 

On the debit side, I still cannot post images on this blog any longer.  Can someone sort this for me please...