Being able to explore a natural world with different, unfamiliar species is a privilege. It was a thrill to visit Italy in 2022 and experience the heat, the dry atmosphere, and the azure blue skies.
While the Puffin Whisperer was was working I was out with my camera in the heat of an Italian summer. It was glorious. I dedicated some time to photographing the local butterflies. I’ve seen a lot of photographs of butterflies but never one like this. It’s not just that it’s a shot of a flying butterfly, it’s that it’s flying towards the viewer and that it’s pin sharp. The only thing that’s out of focus is the tip of one of the antennae.
I count that as a success.
There were many butterflies in Parco della Caffarella, which is convenient because it’s only two Metro journeys and it’s next to my favourite cafe. It was a thrill to see the females laying eggs so the next generation can delight us.
We almost had a too-close encounter with a large female Wild Boar. It’s never a good idea to surprise a mother when her children might be vulnerable. Aren’t they cute?
My life in the natural world is full of ‘Wow!’ moments. This day was one of them. It was a multiple ‘Wow!’ when I spotted a small black head in the water of the stream at Parco della Caffarella in Rome.
A native European Pond Turtle!
There was a Keeled Skimmer Dragonfly, Orthetrum coerulescens, above this tiny stream in Rome. It was a female and had the distinctive black line along its back, which is why it’s called Keeled.
Then it was back to the parks to photograph butterflies, mainly because the birds were too sensible to come out in the middle of the day.
Only mad dogs and Englishmen would do that.