Tag: photography

Aristocratic Quarry

Some while ago we spotted a guided butterfly walk around a local reserve, Totternhoe Quarry. The main quarry in the quarry would be the Duke of Burgundy (Hamearis lucina) butterfly. Since neither quarry was familiar to us, we applied to

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Clearly a Common Blue

An unusual day this so-called spring is one in which it doesn’t rain. My 94-year old mother uses a Dial-a-Ride scheme to get into town and the driver on her last trip observed, rather wittily I thought, that this was

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End of my Duck

I’m beginning to despair of the BBC; my guardians of proper English are relaxing their standards. Yesterday I spotted a headline proclaiming, “April [2012] is the wettest month for 100 years”. The very first paragraph began, “It has been the

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Spanish Flutter-Bys

At the end of March, with the new Odonata season approaching but not yet with us in England, we were off to Spain for a 2½-week house-and-dog-sitting engagement. “Goody”, I thought, “being further south I’ll get a jump on the

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Footloose in Funchal

Madeira’s population is roughly 250,000 in round numbers. About 50% of these live in the capital, Funchal, with its buildings climbing up hills surrounding the harbour rather like the banked seats in an amphitheatre. Today was our last full day

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Hitting the Highs

Our week seemed to have been leading up to today’s outing, the grand finale of the tour, the so-called balcony walk between Pico do Ariero, Madeira’s third highest peak at 1818 m/5965 ft, and Pico Ruivo,  the highest point at

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Up and Over

After two days investigating the levadas of Madeira, today we were due to head up into the mountains of Madeira to walk from Boca Corrida to Encumeada. We we very lucky on two counts. First, this walk had been closed

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Leap Day

After spending a pleasant evening in Porto Moniz on the north-western tip of Madeira, our Feb 29th was to be spent going up into the mountains, crossing the central high ground’s so-called “Desert Plain” to wander along few more levadas

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A Brush with the Laurisilva and Levadas

Having survived our leg loosening walk on day one and stayed overnight in Santana on the northern side of Madeira, today was to to be a walk from Queimadas via a waterfall at Caldeira Verde to Ilha which would introduce

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A Limb Loosener

OK, so we’re not actually on Madeira to dance the lambada. We are actually here with Explore! to walk, amongst other things, some of the famous levadas. Levadas are irrigation channels but more of these later. Madeira is essentially a

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