Summer Colours

I’m cautiously prepared to say that we do indeed have a summer this year. It’s still hovering in the upper 70°sF and I counted no more than about 10 drops of rain today. Even the storms have given up bothering us. The landscape is feeling the heat, but showing some fine summer gold.

wheat field

Wheat field providing a touch of gold in the South Downs National Park

Single stalk of wheat

Single stalk of wheat.

There are butterflies everywhere, with a sudden influx of the brightly coloured peacock butterfly. A small swarm of them have been occupying the garden for the past two or three days, enjoying the sunshine and buddleia.

Peacock butterfly on buddleia

Peacock butterfly on buddleia

Pair of peacock butterflies on the fence

Pair of peacock butterflies on the fence

Back in the fields, a pair of meadow browns were busy making more meadow browns.

meadow brown butterflies mating

Meadow brown butterflies mating

And at home today, a small tortoiseshell joined the peacocks at the far end of the garden.

Small tortoiseshell and peacock butterfly

Small tortoiseshell with a peacock butterfly to the right.

To complete the recent set of butterfly photos, here’s a red admiral from this afternoon.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral (the buddleia’s common name is Butterfly Bush)

The other striking garden invasion has been small swarms of migrant hawker dragonflies. For the past few evenings we’ve watched 20 or more flying over the garden. They are really difficult to photograph in flight, but I did manage this shot.

Migrant hawker dragonfly

Migrant hawker dragonfly

Plus a ‘proper’ photo when one briefly took a breather on the hawthorn.

Migrant Hawker dragonfly

Migrant Hawker dragonfly

Any post about summer colour really needs a sunset, and I’m not going to disappoint. This was taken this evening.


Sunset over distant hill

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D. Wheat field, small tortoiseshell and red admiral, and the sunset taken with the EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens; Peacock butterflies and dragonflies taken with the EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens; and the meadow browns with the EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens.


  1. derwandersmann July 27, 2014 at 3:00 am #

    Lovely shots, Words … despite the heat. I recall seeing a London newspaper headline in a photo: “75° AGAIN TODAY! NO RELIEF IN SIGHT”. I wish we could keep ours down to 75°!

    • Words August 2, 2014 at 12:08 am #

      dW, thanks! I know… we’re utterly pathetic the way we respond to perfectly normal weather. I think it’s that our expectations are so low and our buildings aren’t able to cope. It is a tad cooler now (nations sighs with relief).

  2. Darko July 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    Nice set of photos!!! Especially dragonflies and butterflies.

    We went to Southern interior this weekend and got our dose of summer… again. Temperatures over 30C but somewhat cold nights. And lots of butterflies and dragonflies, too 😀 I still need to find some time to go through the photos….

    • Words August 2, 2014 at 12:09 am #

      Darko, thanks. The butterflies have been great recently. Glad you got to see butterflies and dragons! Look forward to seeing the pix.

      • Darko August 2, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

        No pics of dragonflies this time, just a couple of butterflies. Well…. 😀

        • Words August 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

          Darko, dragonflies are tricky. Just took a look at your Flickr stream and saw the orange butterfly. Nice pic! 😀