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If you have been following this blog to read about my musical exploits then you might have been a bit disappointed recently. I’ve spent so much time revising for my degree over the last few months that I have hardly touched the piano. Fortunately all that is over. I have taken my last exam. 5 1/2 years of studying has come to its conclusion. Since you asked: I felt the exam went reasonably OK, so I’m confident of passing my last module. I should get my results in a months time.

To celebrate finishing my degree we spent last week on holiday in Devon and Dorset. We both love being by the coast so spent most days out walking. As we walked I always made sure I had my camera on hand, ever looking for wildlife. What we mostly saw were butterflies. I didn’t have many good photos of butterflies, so it was great to see such a variety.

I thought you might like to see the results of my efforts. Be sure to click on any of the images to make them bigger.

This first one is a Marsh Fritillary. This was taken at the foot of the Cerne Abbas Giant. Which is a great chalk habitat and stuffed with wildflowers and wildlife._MG_7091 small

I don’t actually think this is a butterfly. I suspect it is a Burnet Companion moth and was taken at the fantastic meadows of Dorset Wildlife Kingcombe reserve._MG_6942 small

This below is a Speckled Wood and was also taken at Kingcombe._MG_6949 small

Now this one was really exciting to see, it is Lulworth Skipper. They are very rare, being confined to the area around Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. We actually saw none at Lulworth Cove, but despite their rarity nationally, we saw absolutely loads of them in the hillside next to Durdle Door_MG_7006 small

Here is a head shot of one feeding off the Viper’s Bugloss which was also abundant at Durdle Door._MG_7015 small

I think the below might be a Dingy Skipper, but if there are any experts out there I am happy to be corrected…_MG_7020 small

There were quite a few blues on our holiday. I am reliably informed that this is an Adonis Blue. (the black marks that extend into the white fringe distinguishes it from the Common, which has an all white fringe)_MG_7028 small

Here is another Marsh Fritillary, taken at Cerne Abbas._MG_7050 small

This poor thing is rather ragged looking. I’m not sure what it is._MG_7054 small

These two beautiful little ones are the fantastically named Grizzled Skippers (Taken at Cerne Abbas)._MG_7060 small

Sick of seeing Marsh Fritillaries yet? _MG_7070 small

What about now? _MG_7077 small

This isn’t a butterfly but a Forester Moth._MG_7086 smallI think this might be a Common Blue, due to the blueness of the bottom of the wings compared to Adonis Blue. What to you think?_MG_6947_small

The below must be an Adonis though. This was taken beneath Stonebarrow Hill just east of Charmouth._MG_7109 small

Finally is a rough looking Small Copper also from Stonebarrow._MG_7105 small

I’d love to know what you think of the photos. I’ve not edited any of them apart from to crop in a little on some of them. I took most of the shots at 1/800sec and ISO800 so that the aperture was small to try to get a decent depth of field. Being so close you can end up with too narrow a depth of field if you go for a wide aperture, rendering most of the subject out of focus. I think I mostly avoided that.

I can now get back to that Chopin Waltz in A Minor which has been neglected…..