⚡ Butterfly Inspired Photography: Case Study

Tuesday, December 21, 2021 6:41:46 PM

Butterfly Inspired Photography: Case Study

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How to Photograph Butterflies: The reDefine Show - Animal Edition! with Tamara Lackey

Audio: A bone infection was at this time still life-threatening and required drastic treatment, most often the amputation of a limb. Audio: Gross' study of recent discoveries about bone renewal made him realize that simply cleansing the site of the infection would allow the bone to heal itself. A relatively simple procedure would yield an immeasurably better outcome. While The Gross Clinic was shocking to many viewers in …. Audio: …serves a powerful emotional purpose while remaining true to his commitment to realism.

Audio: The light from the oculus above falls on Dr. Gross' forehead, emphasizing his intelligence, and it magically turns his hair into a halo, conveying the worshipful respect that he won from his students and his colleagues. Audio: With these artistic devices —light, composition and telling detail —Eakins demonstrates his own formidable professional skills, complementing those…. Audio: …of his subject. And in this, his first masterpiece, he argued convincingly that the heroism —and heroic figures — of modern American life were as worthy of being memorialized by painting as the great figures and events of the past. It also pointed the way to the future and foreshadowed many advances in medical science soon to come. Audio: Painted in , just thirteen years after The Gross Clinic , The Agnew Clinic depicts this celebrated surgeon and his assistants in clean white gowns using sterilized instruments, thus heralding the advent of antiseptic medicine, one of the great innovations of that time.

Audio: Eakins hoped that The Gross Clinic would be a resounding success but was sorely disappointed in the response to this painting, which was rejected by the jury of the art exhibition, evidently because it was too frightening. Audio: …among a display of medical instruments and illustrations in a model U. Army field hospital. Audio: Eakins sold the painting to Jefferson Medical College for a pittance —about enough to pay for the cost of the frame —where it was seen and admired by physicians and their students but rarely, if ever, by the public.

Audio: …Eakins borrowed The Gross Clinic and sent it with a group of his paintings to the art exhibition…. Audio: By this time, the courage, vision and artistic mastery of his work were recognized, and he won a medal. Audio: From this point forward, the reputation of the artist and the painting would grow. Today, the greatest painting by Philadelphia's greatest painter is proudly displayed…. Audio: I want to thank you for taking the time to watch today and to learn more about The Gross Clinic by Thomas Eakins. A cartoon celebrating the centennial of the United States.

An illustration of President Ulysses S. Grant opening the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. On-screen text: Frank Stella b. Audio: …an important patron of the museum. She had it displayed in her Park Avenue apartment for almost fifty years. Frank Stella was born in and…. There, he was surrounded by modern abstract painting at the on-campus…. Audio: …encountered the art of Hans Hofmann, who, like Albers, was deeply concerned with color and abstraction. He began attending exhibitions at New York galleries and museums. He emulated the preeminent Abstract Expressionist painters of the moment….

Video: Black-and-white archival photographs and video footage of Frank Stella painting and working in his studio. Audio: Rather than replicating the gestures and movements as painted by his predecessors, Stella went the opposite direction and began to explore the properties and materials he used—the color of the paint, the flatness of the canvas. He presented the painting as an object rather than something that represented a scene, an action or emotion and became one of the preeminent painters of the Minimalist movement. Audio: Protractor, Variation I was made in He arrived at this colorful painting after he had already exhausted other styles and ways of making abstract paintings.

Stella has constantly probed the liminal space where painting meets sculpture…. Audio: …in terms of form and dimension. Two other works from our collection by Stella also explore this territory…. Audio: Stella is an astounding innovator. He never settled comfortably in one place. He moves rapidly from irregular and regular shaped paintings into multiple forms that eventually lead…. Video: Black-and-white archival video footage of Frank Stella creating one of his Protractor paintings.

Audio: The rhythmic bands of color in Protractor, Variation I form a latticework that is complex and yet derived from the simplicity of the protractor. This is not the abstraction of the Expressionists: The paint is applied perfectly, manicured and clean. Audio: The scale of this work gives it an architectural function. Perhaps it is unsurprising that…. Audio: The Roman numeral I in the title identifies the work as part of a specific design group designating its surface patterning; in this case…. Audio: …the semicircle of the protractor resting firmly on its rectilinear base. This half circle—rather than the full circle—is the primary unit of all the formats. Yet, no matter how complex these interweavings become, their color and hard edges between bands of color give them a clarity of thought and composition that is remarkable.

Audio: I want to thank you for taking the time to watch today and to learn more about Protractor, Variation I by Frank Stella. Frank Stella poses in front of one of his works at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Wolfsburg, Germany, September 6, Bernard Ackerman, M. Gift of Mr. Eugene M. Schwartz and purchase, with funds from the John I. Brant; B. Friedman; the Gilman Foundation, Inc. American artist Frank Stella, painter and sculptor, poses in his studio in New York, October 29, No portion of this production, in part or in whole, can be reused or reproduced, without prior permission.

On-screen text: Damascus Room, Syrian, dated A. Audio— Max Hollein: Hi. Today I would like to talk to you about one of my favorite works from our collection, the Damascus Room , and tell you what inspires me and why I believe it is truly a masterpiece. To me, one of the most incredible things about The Met is that, walking through the galleries, you can feel transported to different times and places all over the world—perhaps nowhere more Audio: So I am standing here outside the Damascus Room , which dates to from Syria, an important province of the vast Ottoman Empire. Audio: Not only is it an architectural jewel, but it is strikingly well preserved and among the earliest surviving rooms of its type. This space was designed as a reception room, and one can easily imagine that it was part of a monumental house of a powerful, affluent family.

The complex construction provided an elegant atmosphere for welcoming guests into this remarkably large setting, with its harmoniously balanced proportions and refined decoration. Audio: This door connects the room with a large courtyard that commonly dominates Syrian houses…. Audio: The opening from which visitors view the room today in the museum would originally have been a wall with a cupboard. Audio: The floors are paved in colorful marble and other stones, while the wooden paneling and ceilings of the room are elaborately decorated.

Poetic Arabic inscriptions along floral motifs are finely applied on the wood. And near the ceiling, polychrome glass set in stucco form floral-patterned windows, which delightfully filter the light. The art resides in the fineness of the details, decoration or calligraphy, and the complexity of the patterns, considered a high art form and characteristic of Islamic art. The opulent decorative repertoire and expensive materials suggest that the Damascus Room was designed for the home of a powerful merchant, to host his visitors or other important male guests. Luxurious objects, such as Eastern ware or fancy Chinese porcelain, would be displayed in the built-in shelves—all aimed to impress the guests with Near Eastern hospitality.

Imagine you are among the audience, seated on the low cushions. You taste delicious appetizers served in small bowls and presented on a large round tray; you sip from a glass of rose water, while listening to a musical performance. The air is imbued with incense or other enchanting perfume, and the sound of the water resonates in the room. The flowers on the wall recreate a virtual garden, blossoming all year long. The Arabic poetry decoration recalls the Gardens of Paradise and invokes blessings for the owner and the Prophet Muhammad. This luxurious chamber thus becomes a metaphor for a heaven on earth, a place where all the senses would engage and a welcome reprieve from the hectic city.

Audio: This room reflects that cultural heritage. Records indicate that it came from a private house in the area southwest of the famous Great Mosque in Damascus…. Video: A black-and-white image of a damaged building in Damascus after French bombing, c. Audio: In , part of this neighborhood was destroyed in a French aerial bombardment aimed at suppressing a Syrian resistance movement. Audio: The room was probably salvaged from the wreckage of the airstrike or from a later campaign to widen the narrow streets. Audio: By the early s, the room had been removed from its original setting and was sold to an Armenian-American dealer, who brought it to New York.

He added the fountain in the lower antechamber, which is a couple of centuries older from the Mamluk period. Made of opus sectile finely cut mosaic stonework, it reflects the spirit of such reception rooms, and particularly the ones in noble residences, which include a similar fountain. Period rooms like this one have a unique power to evoke the spirit of an era and the people who once created and inhabited these spaces. I hope you will have a chance to visit The Met and experience your own journey through time. I encourage you to join the conversation and discuss the unique installation with friends and family. Wood poplar with gesso relief, gold and tin leaf, glazes and paint; wood cypress, poplar and mulberry , mother-of-pearl, marble and other stones, stucco with glass, plaster ceramic tiles, iron and brass.

Today I would like to talk about one of my favorite works from our collection, the Bodhisattva of Compassion Seated in Royal Ease , also called Guanyin Posa ,and I would like to tell you why I think this is truly a masterpiece. Audio: This tenth-century sculpture is carved from two pieces of wood, quite likely boxwood, a common material used during this time, and fitted together perfectly. It stands about 17 inches tall, and it was once beautifully painted, and if you look carefully you can still see traces of color. In Buddhist teachings, bodhisattvas are wise and compassionate, and they are beings who are capable of enlightenment but postpone it in order to help ordinary people along the Buddhist path.

Given its age, this sculpture remains in remarkably good condition. As I mentioned, traces of pigment remain, indicating that its original appearance would have been brightly painted — draped fabric, necklace, and crown…. Trace amounts of gold show us that gilt elements added reflective brightness and vibrancy. While most of the color is lost, its elegance and beauty persist. Video: Close-up of a late tenth—eleventh century Chinese scroll with an ink and color depiction of a palace banquet. Audio: We can only imagine the wonder it might have inspired in devotees who approached the Guanyin for merciful blessings. Audio: This masterpiece was made in China during the Five Dynasties period, when China was split into small kingdoms that were engaged in constant conflict.

Audio: Buddhism had come to China around the first century of the Common Era or earlier, likely via Buddhist monks and pilgrims…. Audio: It became a major cultural force in China, mingling with local belief systems to develop a distinctly Chinese form of Buddhism, flourishing over the centuries,…. Audio: The popular Chinese form of Buddhism emphasized bodhisattvas as an accessible source of help and guidance. Audio: Guanyin is usually depicted elegantly dressed and sumptuously ornamented, a style influenced by earlier representations in India. Audio: Sitting serenely on a lotus throne in the posture of royal ease, Guanyin gazes downward, as if listening attentively to the devotees who pray for release from their suffering.

Audio: The figure and the throne were carved separately from different sections of solid wood, fitting together perfectly to display this beloved bodhisattva. Among all the known examples of Guanyin from this period, this one is certainly among the finest. The unknown maker of this sculpture was exceptionally skilled at imbuing the work with sensitivity and with grace. Audio: And it was likely one of the skilled specialist artisans whose works were displayed in temples and shrines for the devotion of Chinese Buddhists.

It remains as relevant today as it did when this symbol of mercy was made, over 1, years ago. Audio: I want to thank you for taking the time to watch today and to learn more about the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Guanyin. I encourage you to join the conversation and discuss the work with those you know. Wang Family, Gift of Oscar L. Tang Family, Today, I would like to talk about one of my favorite works from our collection, Five Beautiful Women by Katsushika Hokusai, and tell you why I think it is truly a masterpiece.

Before we begin our discussion, I would like to tell you a little more about our newly renovated and expanded Seattle Asian Art Museum, one of the few museums in North America exclusively dedicated to Asian art. In , we reopened this gem after a major renovation, and now each gallery presents artworks from ancient to contemporary, and from across Asia, including Japan, China, Korea, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Himalaya and the Middle East.

Audio: …. Five Beautiful Women. Audio: For many of us, the name Hokusai brings to mind the iconic prints of the Great Wave …. Audio: Born in , Hokusai entered the art world at the age of 19 and enjoyed a prolific career that spanned 70 years. He produced an estimated tens of thousands of woodblock prints and was no doubt a master of the Pop art of his time, ukiyo-e , or pictures of the floating world. Audio: Soon after his death in , many of the prints found their way to Europe, where…. Unlike prints, his paintings were not produced in multiples and thus in a less greater number, but they are marvelous, such as the one we have here. Hokusai painted Five Beautiful Women around , about two decades before he created….

Audio: Here, he ingeniously composed five women of different social backgrounds in an intriguing hierarchy, differentiated by their clothing. Audio: At the top is a woman from a high-ranking warrior family. She wears a kimono decorated with an iris design and a lavish obi sash and is poised with a writing brush and paper in hand. The next is a young woman from a wealthy merchant family in a shibori tie-dyed kimono, engaged in flower arrangement. The third woman in a black kimono with floral designs and a butterfly-shaped hat is a lady-in-waiting in the residence of a shogun or daimyo , a Japanese feudal lord. Beneath her reclines a high-class courtesan, identified by her front-tied obi that bears a peacock feather pattern.

At the bottom is a middle-aged woman in a simple, brown kimono with a checkered obi sash. She is reclining on the floor, reading a book. Her somber-colored robes and plucked eyebrows lead some scholars to suggest she is a widow. Audio: All the remarkable detailing of the garment patterns we see here is a trademark of deluxe ukiyo-e painting. Painted on silk with expensive pigments….

It is a pivotal work of the popular genre, beautiful women. Audio: The array of garments and accessories here prompts us to think about clothing and the relationships to our identity. I encourage you to join the conversation and discuss the piece with family and friends. Stainless steel military dog-tags, nickel-plated copper sheets, steel structure, glass fiber reinforced resin and rubber sheets. Mudd, and Walter H. Today I would like to talk about one of my favorite works in our collection, Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness by Caravaggio, and tell you why it moves me so deeply and why it is truly a masterpiece. Audio: It differs from his early work, where the theatricality of highly dynamic multi-figure scenes establish him….

Audio: His sense of intense contrast of light, his use of everyday people as models and his realism launch what we call now the Baroque era. Audio: This later painting, while retaining all of Caravaggio's attributes, it's indeed more subdued and representative of his later work. Audio: It is characterized by its monumental size, the compositional stability, the limited use of colors, the restrained gesture of the figure, and his signature dramatic chiaroscuro , the technique depicting contrasting light to place emphasis in certain areas of the scene….

Audio: Although no one really trained directly under Caravaggio, there were many who followed his technique…. Audio: This particular treatment of Saint John the Baptist would have also been very innovative and surprising at the time he painted it, as it represents the saint as a melancholic, brooding adolescent. Audio: The painter's careful attention to realistic details, like the dirt on the toenails…. This conception of Saint John the Baptist was remarkable also. The saint had hardly ever been depicted…. Audio: Normally you would have seen him older, perhaps with a beard, or covered with a lambskin. Audio: It is one of only seven paintings by Caravaggio in the United States, and considered by many among his best.

But this recognition has had its ups and downs throughout the centuries. Audio: And perhaps this has to do with the very intense and complex personal story of him. Audio: Born in Milan in , Caravaggio was orphaned by the plague at age 11 and taken by a painter who studied…. He was a young, troubled man, violent person. He was involved with gangs and prone to fights and incessant conflict. Audio: After wounding a police officer in , a penniless year-old Caravaggio fled to Rome to escape retaliation and justice. Audio: In Rome, his youthful, innovative talent was quickly recognized, and his career flourished. Audio: The church and patrons sought out his realistic, intimate, biblical scenes that provoke connection and contemplation. Audio: I think he impressed his patrons then, and continues to touch us today, because he showed suffering so intimately well.

Undoubtedly, he could depict what he had both suffered and inflicted. Audio: His criminal behavior continued, but his wealthy patrons, so inspired by his work, continually bailed him out. Such was the case…. Audio: At the very peak of his career, at the age of 34, Caravaggio was forced to flee Rome. He spent the rest of his life as a fugitive, traveling from Naples to Malta to Sicily, before dying, likely of illness, at age 38 in Audio: Our painting today can be dated actually at around the last years in Rome, around , thanks to scientific research that was conducted in In preparation for an important retrospective, the Nelson-Atkins staff and scientists carried out technical studies of the painting to gain a better understanding of Caravaggio's working process.

Audio: Exciting details were uncovered about how the painting was structured and constructed. For example, there's some incised lines that were used to just guide him in placing the figure…. Audio: As a result of these collaborative studies, Caravaggio experts were able to narrow the date of the Nelson-Atkins painting to around , six years prior to his demise. One can only imagine and speculate what his art production would have been like, had he lived for many, many more years. And in a way, the serenity that we witness in this depiction of Saint John the Baptist can really be interpreted today like the calm in the middle of a storm….

Audio: I want to thank you for taking time to watch and learn more about Saint John the Baptist and invite you to visit the Nelson-Atkins in person or online…. Audio: I encourage you to join the conversation and discuss the works with your family and friends. And please visit the Masterpiece Moment website to sign up for alerts and ensure that you never miss an inspired moment brought by these magnificent works of art. Thank you. Portrait of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio , late seventeenth century, from the engraving by Ottavio Leoni. Today, I would like to talk about one of my favorite works from our collection, Earth Song by Chiricahua Apache artist Allan Houser, and tell you why I think it is truly a masterpiece.

Audio: Earth Song arrived at the Heard in , when it was generously gifted to the museum by the artist. It has graced the museum's entrance since its donation and greets all who visit the museum. Audio: It is now our signature work, an ambassador of our collection and mission. It is so emblematic of the Heard Museum that our member magazine is named after it. The Heards understood the importance, beauty and creativity of the Indigenous cultures in the Southwest and wanted to share their appreciation with the public. The museum's collection contains more than 44, objects of Indigenous manufacture, and our library and archives house hundreds of thousands of artist files and documents that do not exist anywhere else. Our exhibitions and collections highlight the extraordinary breadth and variety of American Indian art, from objects made by North America's original inhabitants thousands of years ago, to cutting-edge works of contemporary art created within the last year.

Audio: Allan Houser is a legendary figure in the world of contemporary Native American art. Audio: Haozous , in the Apache language, describes the sound and sensation of pulling a plant from the earth at the point in which the earth gives way. Audio: The son of Blossom and Sam Haozous, he was the first member of his family to be born into freedom…. Government for 27 years. Much to his father's chagrin, he applied and was accepted. Audio: Houser began his formal art training at the school's newly formed studio class, later known as "The Studio,"…. Audio: He attended the Indian School from to , during which time he changed his name from Haozous to Houser, having been suggested to do so by school administrators.

Audio: Houser and the students of The Studio became known for their distinct painting style of pastel colors that were outlined to create a flat and two-dimensional quality. This style of painting later became known as "Traditional Indian Painting. Audio: During this time, Houser befriended students and faculty at the Pasadena Art Center, where he was exposed to the work of world-renowned modernist sculptors such as…. Audio: This exposure laid the foundation for what would later become Allan Houser's own take on modernist sculpture. Houser was at the height of his painting career, but it was at this moment he began to experiment with three-dimensional media.

He first experimented with wood carvings, later working in stone and bronze. Video: An archival photograph of Allan Houser standing in front of his sculpture Comrade in Mourning , It depicts an Apache man singing a song of respect, a prayer to Mother Earth. He is seen beating a water drum with a pounder, which measures the rhythm of his prayer as he sings to thank the Earth for sustaining all living forms. Houser's subjects are grounded in a respect for his Apache culture and for all Indigenous people, while his themes are based on stories he heard as a child about the lifeways…. Audio: And in , Earth Song was one of eight sculptures in the museum's collection that benefited from a grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project….

Audio: I want to thank you for taking the time to watch today and to learn more about Earth Song by Allan Houser. I encourage you to join the conversation and discuss the work with family and friends. Martin Director of the Art Institute of Chicago. Today, I would like to talk about one of my favorite works from our collection…. Audio: Georges Seurat has created a scene of leisure set on a small section of an elongated island in the Seine River just beyond Paris's city limits. Audio: Seurat's canvas is filled with figures, including three dogs, eight boats, forty-eight people and, oddly, one monkey, who gather on a Sunday afternoon to enjoy and parade around in nature. Audio: A Sunday on La Grande Jatte was painted in and is generally considered to be Seurat's masterpiece and certainly one of the greatest paintings of the nineteenth century.

Audio: Like many of his Impressionist contemporaries such as Claude Monet, Seurat embraced the subject matter of modern life. Seurat, however, went beyond their prevailing concerns for translating in paint the qualities of light in the city or in nature. Seurat, inspired by recently published research in optical and color theory, developed his own "scientific" style called Pointillism, from the French word for "point" or "dot. Audio: In , Seurat debuted the painting at the eighth and final Impressionist exhibition. He was only twenty-six years old. Audio: It shocked the Paris art world when it was first shown.

Audio: Recognized for its unusual technique, simplified figure types and enormous scale, this monumental work is a manifesto of a new style of painting that broke with Impressionism and would open the door for a more expansive European Modernism employed by the likes…. Audio: This picture was only rarely seen in the three decades following the artist's death in Audio: When Art Institute trustee Frederic Clay Bartlett purchased the painting in , he wrote to then museum director Robert Harshe, exclaiming that he had attained, and I quote, "almost by a miracle the finest picture in France," close quote.

So the picture was placed on loan here at the Art Institute and gifted to the museum in Audio: For nearly a century, this innovative and enigmatic painting has continued to intrigue, elude…. Audio: Georges Seurat was born in Paris in December into a family that supported him throughout his life as an artist. Audio: After a year and a half, Seurat quit school. Following one year of military service, he returned to painting. Audio: It is extraordinary to think that just four years after abandoning art school, Seurat was poised to begin….

Audio: The flickering color creates a sense of vibrancy that belies the actual stillness of the scene. Of all the figures, only one girl in an orange dress appears to be in active motion. The other figures seem almost frozen in place. Seurat sought to evoke a sense of permanence in his depiction of the figures by recalling the art of the past…. Audio: As he explained to the French poet Gustave Kahn, and here I quote Seurat, "I want to make modern people, in their essential traits, move about as they do on those friezes, and place them on canvases organized by harmonies of color," close quote.

Audio: Two or three years after it was exhibited in , Seurat restretched the canvas. To make the experience of the painting even more intense, he surrounded the canvas with a frame of hand-painted dashes and dots, which he, in turn, enclosed with a pure white wood frame, similar to the one with which the painting is exhibited today. Audio: Unlike many of his fellow Impressionists, drawing was also a foundational part of his process. Audio: The genesis of this large canvas, seven feet by ten feet, involved approximately twenty-eight drawings, twenty-four oil panels and three larger canvases.

Within the Art Institute's collection, we have drawings related to two of the foreground figures. Audio: In drawing, for example, Seurat developed the expressive contours of the seated female figure holding a parasol that would ultimately occupy the center of the finished painting. He also worked through the proportions and the stance of the Woman Walking with a Parasol. Audio: A small oil on a thin, wood panel in our collection is one of the twenty-four painted studies the artist made.

Audio: These panels show the enormous changes to the composition as he worked out the placement of the figures. Audio: A exhibition at the Art Institute devoted to the making of La Grande Jatte shared numerous discoveries by painting conservators, showing how Seurat transferred and altered figures from studies to the final canvas and elucidated the exact nature of his pigments and…. Color scientists also examined how some of the pigments have changed over time on the surface, such as the yellow of the sunlit grass, which has darkened over time. Audio: This painting has inspired many, not only in painting, but in music and theater, notably the epic and iconic Broadway musical…. Audio: The painting's become a cultural touchstone, appearing in movies such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off ….

Audio: The experience of seeing this painting, live and in person, has captured the imagination of millions of visitors, resulting in the countless references to it during the almost years since it came to Chicago. I encourage you to join the conversation and discuss the piece with friends and family. And, please, visit the Bank of America Masterpiece Moment website to sign up for alerts and ensure that you never miss a single moment.

Initial theatrical release June 11, Screen capture. Paramount Pictures. Video: Eric Crosby, the Henry J. Audio— Eric Crosby: Hello. My name is Eric Crosby, the Henry J. Audio: Low Water is a major oil painting that Mitchell created in This work, among other large-scale paintings by Mitchell, was first exhibited…. Audio: Leon Arkus, then the Director of the museum, had the foresight to acquire this piece…. Audio: Born in Chicago in , Joan Mitchell is best known for these large, abstract works, although she also made smaller paintings, and works on paper, and prints. Audio: She studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and in the late s began traveling to France, as part of a fellowship, returning often in the following decades.

Audio: Despite a reputation for being somewhat isolated, and even a bit temperamental, Mitchell claimed to love trees and dogs more than people. Audio: She was, in fact, very sociable and generous, especially to other artists, who she often hosted at her home in France. Audio: Her career took off soon after graduating, when she exhibited work in the landmark…. Audio: Her larger works, made in France, offer up a much more expansive sense of space, and a resplendent spectrum of color. Audio: Here we see Mitchell starting to use rectangular blocks of color, in varying sizes, a motif that persisted throughout the s. Mitchell would activate these swaths…. Audio: Her palette also became much more sophisticated at this time, including lavenders, oranges, greens, blues, purples and yellows that literally jump off the canvas.

It naturally draws you in, at first physically and then emotionally as you explore its variations of color and form. Audio: It just so happens that Mitchell worked and resided in the same location as the French painter…. Audio: Though many are quick to draw connections between the two artists because of this fact, Mitchell rejected the comparison. Audio: Although her paintings of the time were inspired by the natural environment, Mitchell did not paint outside but rather inside a studio on her property. Audio: The imaginary landscapes that she painted were very much an extension of her memory.

Audio: She would often cover the windows to keep out the natural light, allowing her to focus on the immediacy of the work at hand. Audio: While her brushwork is dynamic and gestural, she did not really consider herself to be an action painter. In fact, she painted slowly…. Audio: Low Water , as it was eventually named, evokes this wondrous feeling, I think, of…. Audio: I want to thank you for taking the time to watch today and to learn more about Low Water by Joan Mitchell. And please visit the Bank of America Masterpiece Moment website to sign up for alerts and make sure that you never miss a moment. Wall Drawing , A wall is divided vertically into four equal parts. All one-, two-, three-, and four-part combinations of four colors , Edward N. Richard M.

Scaife, by exchange. On-screen text: Yayoi Kusama Japanese, b. We're at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, a part of the Smithsonian Institution and our national museum of modern art. I am Melissa Chiu, Director of the Hirshhorn, and I'm delighted to share one of my favorite masterpieces in our collection. Audio: You are among the first to see Yayoi Kusama's Pumpkin in its indoor setting. Audio: As you can see, Kusama has covered her artwork in her signature polka dots, and the resulting effect is exactly as she intended: a dazzling kaleidoscope environment.

Audio: Today, Yayoi Kusama is the most famous living woman artist in the world. This was not always the case. Jan 31 This will be my last post selling items. I will send you your total and get your items out to you. Thank you to everyone who helped me clean out my craft room. My husband is so excited. Jan 30 Hugs and smiles Beate. Jan 29 Have a great day! Jan 28 Have a great week! To my astonishment it was then joined by a Purple Hairstreak. A butterfly first for me in my north Watford garden. He found at least 4 rather tatty males and one magnificent freshly emerged female, all on Field Thistle flowers.

So it looks as if the females are only just beginning to emerge, perhaps delayed by the rather cool and often poor weather? Returned home from work tonight to find Gypsy Moth on shed wall. We went to Whippendell Woods to check on the White Admiral situation as I had the opportunity and the weather wasn't quite as dreadful as lately. We did indeed encounter the White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary mostly tatty specimens. I very much doubt they will go beyond this week as there were lots of dragonflies also in the woodland. As for numbers may as well start with Whites, the part I wasn't overly diverting my attention to.

With White Admiral though 3 seen 2 at "Camilla Oak" and one at different spot in the woods by some honeysuckle that Rick had discovered, I suspect was a female. Spotted a Jersey Tiger in our Letchworth garden. Warm and humid but not much sun. Ickenham Meadows, Ruislip. The weather wasn't entirely favourable for my first visit this year. The morning was entirely overcast with occasional sprinkling of rain but was warm and windless enough to tempt out the Brown Hairstreak.

I stayed in largely the same place for most of the morning so it is difficult to be certain how many individuals I saw but there was a surprising amount of activity around the immature ash trees at TQ, even in quite gloomy conditions. I estimate there were at least 3 males here. The afternoon was largely sunny but much windier and male activity was considerably reduced.

I saw a further 5 Brown Hairstreak , including a couple of males in the ashes near the railway line. Unfortunately, I didn't see any Brown Hairstreak nectaring or perched at a low level. St Albans - Peacocks out in force today, feeding on buddleia, but also seeking out hibernation spots. I've watched them patrolling up and down the street, perching on houses and closely examining them for suitable winter retreats. Chimney pots, velum windows, eaves under roofs and open doors and windows have all been explored in detail. At least 5 separate individuals, but almost certainly more.

Interestingly no more had actually entered my hibernation shed this week. They need to fuel up before entering hibernation and can't do that in cool overcast conditions like we've had in the last week. Gypsy Moths have also appeared this week, but seemingly in much smaller numbers than last year. Having read so much about Heartwood Forest, I made my first trip up there today. I am so very grateful to the Branch for introducing me to such a incredible place. I then made my way along the Hertfordshire Way to St Albans. I also saw the spectacular site of a female Green Emperor or Migrant Hawker Dragonfly take a Small White in the air and devour it on the wing whilst picking off the butterfly's wings one by one.

I didn't even know dragonflies ate butterflies. It was all quite disturbing!! At Trent Park - 1 Peacock nectaring on buddleia by lower lake. Captured this beautiful butterfly, Painted Lady this morning about 8 on a sunflower in my Queensbury garden. Given the report on the Branch sightings page for 4th August, down to an actual Grid reference, it was going to be relatively easy wasn't it? Not so! The butterfly list built up en route, more of that later, but the area of interest was reached and every thistle flower examined without success.

The dilemma is, how long do you stand around staring at a patch of thistles? The group moved on out into the field where the males can possibly be seen up at the tops of the ash trees, but not today. So, it was back to the thistle patch but still no luck. At this point we were joined by Andrew Wood who had come independently and already seen three Brown Hairstreaks , so he guided us back to the spot.

It was not long before the elusive butterfly was seen, not on thistles but on top of a bramble leaf. We were in a narrow path so there was a bit of a scramble to get a view. Totally unnecessary as it turned out, it stayed around and moved to a thistle flower virtually at eye level and totally ignored the battery of cameras now concentrated on it. Ruislip Gardens. I missed the group walk, but had a look around on my own. One Brown Hairstreak which posed nicely on a thistle and then obligingly opened its wings. A sunny day with reasonable numbers and variety including only the second White-letter Hairstreak seen this year and unexpected, nectaring on thistle well away from elms.

We arrived at Hexton Chalk Pit at around pm and in 2 hours of good sunny spells we estimated at least Chalkhill Blues of mostly males in varying condition. It was quite an experience watching half a dozen males chasing one female on several occasions. Busy day recording butterflies around Ware. First overnight I recorded 52 Jersey Tiger moths, the highest count so far in As usual, butterflies numbers were generally low but 12 species were recorded including a Brown Argus and Small Copper. From there I went to Ware Cemetery and walked down Wengeo Lane towards the river and across the Meads to the edge of Hertford and back - in total I walked 5 miles. Additional highlight was 5 Common Blue.

As usual for me the Meads TL were very unproductive and despite walking for about 4 miles and seeing stacks of thistles, no Painted Lady were seen. I returned home to find the Painted Lady still on my garden buddleia!!!! I think by far yesterday was the better day for Peacock and Red Admiral on buddleias and probably the result of the previous day's rain. As today warmed up, the numerous buddleias I walked past did have both Peacock and Red Admiral but nothing like yesterday's numbers or my garden first thing this morning when the dew was probably still present.

There has been a significant emergence of Brimstone butterflies in the last few days, but other species are declining or have disappeared and I haven't seen any Small Heath butterflies anywhere on the heath for over two weeks. There were a few Peacocks and Red Admirals around, but very little else. There wasn't much forage about except bramble and the odd honeysuckle blossom. I was wondering whether I'd see anything else, when towards the end, on the only Ragwort plant in sight, I saw on Middleway there were a group of 8 Gatekeepers on and around it. Last night at Southgate - 2 Yellow Shell. Garden bonanza of butterflies in Ware with my first Painted Lady sighting since August but more significant was 17 Peacock spread between the garden buddleias, my highest count since A Jersey Tiger landed on the outside of my kitchen window in Ealing.

Also in the garden were 2 Small White and a Holly Blue. A Jersey Tiger on our folding doors at Braughing. St Albans - in a brief sunny spell at lunchtime 2 Peacocks in my garden and 10 Peacocks on my allotment. In both locations numbers were just under half those at the end of last week, again suggesting hibernation is well underway. I saw my first White-letter Hairstreak at Aldbury Nowers. It was in the sheep paddock to the right of the track as you head uphill, feeding on Ragwort.

St Albans garden - I investigated the appearance of small holes in the leaves of my mullein plants - and found an Angle Shades caterpillar. The number of Peacocks on buddleia was much reduced today, I suspect that many are now in hibernation. St Albans - Hibernating butterflies update. Today's survey of my shed identified 1 hibernating Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Peacocks. Both figures are well down on the same week in previous years. There are still many Peacocks on the wing - yesterday I had 25 at least on my allotment and 7 in the garden. However there have been few Small Tortoiseshells flying this summer - just one in each location yesterday. Also a rare daylight sighting of a Shuttle-shaped Dart in my garden.

A work colleague showed me this extraordinary photo of a Purple Emperor that he found at his water butt in Hemel Hempstead, this morning. It had somehow fallen into the water butt, but was carefully coaxed out, using a dustpan, as per the photo below! It dried out and eventually flew off. Bonus rare winged form of the Roesel's Bush Cricket! More sun and more butterflies. Inspired by earlier reports of Brown Hairstreak in Ruislip Gardens by my friend Hiro Takenouchi, we met up today and he showed me all the best haunts for this wonderful species. Between and we saw at least 9 freshly hatched males, and a single female in not such great shape the approach of an ominous dark cloud stopped play! All individuals were on flowers of Field Thistle, despite the abundance of other nectar sources, especially Bramble and Ragwort.

They were remarkably tame, and stayed on the flowers even during the cloudy periods between the sunny spells. The path with the greatest number of individuals is located at the western edge TQ , but we saw several to the south of here down towards the border fence with RAF Northolt. For those wishing to visit, there's plenty of parking unrestricted around the junction of Stafford Rd with Bedford Rd.

Why not visit the site on Wednesday 11 August for a guided butterfly walk. Roughdown Common. A good number of different species on a warm but overcast afternoon. Small White 13, Large White 3, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 6, Gatekeeper 4, Meadow Brown 13, Common Blue 3, Small Copper 1, most exciting of all - White-letter Hairstreak 1, spotted on a low elm sapling leaf in the chalk dell this is the first recorded sighting at this location.

I had a walk between and I had a walk at Heartwood between 10 and 11 am and saw a single male Silver-washed Fritillary fluttering around a bramble bush and occasionally landing. Had a quick stroll through Tunnel Gardens lots of wild carrot, common knapweed, creeping thistle and birds foot trefoil in flower. Ashridge close to Aldbury along bridleway 14 the Chiltern Way. After finding 17 species there last year including a valezina Silver-washed Fritillary we decided to try this open area again. With the rain we wondered weather we would even see a Ringlet. The rain did stop and the sun did appear for a while enabling us to see 12 confirmed species most in the first 10 minutes on arriving. Late afternoon we went to Aldbury Nowers to see if we could find a Chalkhill Blue.

Not ideal weather as it started raining of which became more persistent. However we did manage to find some butterflies at the northern end. I went to see how the White Admirals were fairing up 2 spotted and possibly a third at "Camilla Oak" and 1 on brambles along a path with elm, of which I was looking out for White-letter Hairstreaks. I saw a hairstreak sized butterfly flutter into the elm and there it stayed. No good for a confirmation as there is oak very close and may have been a purple one. Speaking of Purple Hairstreaks only 3 seen very disappointing as they had a bumper year in In Cassiobury Park. Bumped into the local maths teacher Jarek who was the only person on my last walk in and the only person to photograph White-Letter Hairstreak with us.

A male with wing damage feeding from a muddy patch along one of the rides. Folly Lane allotment, St Albans - although the morning here was overcast, there were some brief spells of hazy sun before the rain came. This prompted a feeding frenzy amongst the butterflies on my allotment plot, with most individuals seemingly glued to flowers, except when disturbed and they whirled around in clouds. Peacocks 6 had a clear preference for Buddleia and Inula. Gatekeepers about 20 preferred Marjoram, Hemp Agrimony and Bramble. I've never seen WLH nectaring on this flower before. It's the first one I've recorded on this site for around 15 years - good news as this species appears to have had another poor year locally. I've never seen one on the Ashridge Estate before and this one seems to be in very good condition considering the date.

A quick visit to Hertford Heath St Albans - Peacock right outside my office window - photographed from my desk. Two Small White caterpillars on nasturtium in my salad bed, disturbed while harvesting my lunch. What a week it's turning out to be! Having already added two colourful but less common varieties to my all-time list, the spectacular Purple Emperor and the delightful Silver-washed Fritillary , I can now add yet another, the very eye-catching valezina variant of the SWF family.

I came back from a day out to be greeted by a new visitor to my meadow patch in Muswell Hill. I hope she returns. Other residents at the moment are Gatekeepers most attracted to the Wild Carrot. Such a pleasure to see the wild patch being put to use. I spent 2 hours at Heartwood Forest looking for Purple Emperor. It was overcast, but a hazy sun came out at around , and I had two sightings, high in the canopy, between and , above Pudler's Wood TL and Well Wood TL , but no groundings.

I left at 1pm. I had parked in the main car park, so on my return, I also checked out the canopy of northern and western Langley Wood TL , but was not rewarded with any further sightings. Jersey Tiger in my garden in Muswell Hill this morning. No luck again and in fact nothing but two Green-veined Whites in the first meadow. Very different picture in the second meadow. As the afternoon warmed I was struck both by the profusion of butterflies and the changes in relative abundance of species compared to last weekend.

Jersey Tiger warm First for 2 years in my Chipping Barnet garden. A visit to the chalkland north of Clothall Common to check on the Chalkhill Blues was positive with 2 females and 7 males recorded. This is fewer than last year, but in view of the fresh appearance of those seen it may well be that maximum emergence has yet to occur. One was also seen on the close mown verge alongside the housing some way south towards the Garden Centre. I also visited Hexton Chalkpit on 21 July to do my almost annual count of the colony there. The count showed a mean of on the survey route which is well up on the last few years, though not yet at the hundreds seen around There were also 6 seen at Telegraph Hill, which has now had much scrub removed and the odd ones on the Icknield Way and roadside between the two sites.

The condition of the northern part of the pit towards Hexton village is getting rather scrubby again and very few were seen in this area. A number were also on the other side of the road from the pit below Lion Hill, mainly taking salts along with Green-veined Whites. Click the image on the right below for a short video. Dark Green Fritillary seen in St Albans this morning. Many Marbled White and a few Red Admiral around grassland there also. I've seen DGF twice at this site in recent years. No luck with that this afternoon, but in overcast conditions Purple Hairstreak were displaying well and I saw a total of 14, including some low down in oak and a couple in ash. Browns, Whites and Skippers were all showing well.

This last one was a new butterfly for me at this site. It was great to see Tring Park looking its best this morning and butterfly numbers peaking. I managed to see a male Purple Emperor about Extraordinary how it takes a while to get the right angle to see the purple sheen on the wings. Also tried Foxholes but without success so will try again. Haven't tried Rusling End yet.

Beautiful walk this evening along the wildflower rich field margins along Walkern Road. I parked just before the ford driving from Aston and walked to top of the hill. Full sun in the evening. Heartwood Forest : spurred on by the many recent reports on this website I was thrilled to sight and snap my first ever Purple Emperor at about 2pm as it settled on some drying mud along the path skirting the SE side of Pudlers Wood TL For about an hour I witnessed maybe the same one, maybe two or three others flying around, though none were to settle quite so obligingly. I had 5 clear sightings on the other half of the ride to the pond end between 2. I've no idea how many individuals that covered - 2 or 3? They were all on the ground.

I've not yet seen any in the canopy. Back to Heartwood Forest to look for Purple Emperors in Langley Wood - which is about half a mile from the spot we found them last weekend. Success, two males were in a chase high in the canopy at high point on the NE side of the wood. At a second high point at the northern tip of the wood, another Purple Emperor flew out into the numerous mature Goat Willows alongside the wood. St Albans - First hibernating Small Tortoiseshell of the summer spotted in my shed this evening. A sharp decline in Marbled Whites as Brown Argus numbers increase. I don't know what to make of low Hairstreak numbers - the oaks seem to be badly affected with mildew or similar which can't be good for Purple Hairstreaks and I'm seeing nothing even resembling White-letter Hairstreak even where the elms are relatively leafy and in sun.

A Meadow Brown being carried away by a dragonfly has not been counted. Within 5 minutes, a Purple Emperor flew down from near the top of one of the oaks to the underpass but did not settle and returned to the oak. This morning I spotted a beautiful moth hanging upside down on my garden Leylandii which I've just identified as a Box-tree moth , a non-native species. A large dark butterfly was floating around at about a metre height so I stopped and watched. I got a clear view. It had no purple colour but the size and white markings confirmed it was a Purple Emperor , assumed female. It flew into the underpass and settled on the wall and I hoped to get a clear photo but as I moved in it flew towards Colestrete and out of view.

Quite a surprise! Nothing else as dramatic happened that day except a few Silver-washed Fritillaries appeared along the route across to St Pauls Walden. A few Silver-washed Fritillaries along the way. However on the way back at about 4 pm between Pigeonswick and Norton Green Common I found a White Admiral flying along the rough track. It veered off the track to the east side and I found it inspecting the ditch which follows the line of the track TL , although the precise location is at telegraph pole numbered 15 on the trackside.

One extra butterfly species to add to those recorded by the Branch outing group at Therfield Heath. Excited to record my first ever Silver-washed Fritillary between At least 3 flying and landing all too briefly along the main bridleway. We also visited Therfield Heath on the west side - Church Hill. Branch Event The walk was held in blistering heat, without the shade enjoyed by those who joined the recent scheduled woodland walks! Chalkhill Blues were easy to find as we investigated the area east of the Sporting Club Lankester Hill and the Old Rifle Range , but they were only seen in big numbers where extracting salts from the sadly many clumps of dog poo! Marbled Whites were still common although declining now, whilst lots of Dark Green Fritillaries were still zooming about, barely ever stopping to rest.

A couple of second-generation Brown Argus were the only other 'blues' seen by our group. In addition to those butterflies seen on the walk today, three male Silver-washed Fritillaries were on the wing in the woodland to the west of the Therfield Road yesterday 18th and a Small Copper was seen close to the Therfield Road. A lovely afternoon dog walk in Whippendell Woods provided a total of 14 Silver-washed Fritillaries , 2 White Admirals , 1 Comma and numerous Large Whites and Ringlets and I only went there as road access to my normal walk on Chipperfield Common was blocked off. With Rick Vickers. After hearing about the appropriately named "Puddler's Wood" and checking online to see where that is we took off in that direction from the car park up the left hand side.

Came to a coffee coloured pond on the right hand side with numerous Broad Bodied Chaser dragonflies on the wing. This marked the ride we were about investigate for the Purple Emperor. Following the ride about half way down we saw a male Brimstone of which I would put as 1 seen but Rick may have seen a few more. By staying at this point along the ride was where we encountered our first female Purple Emperor first spotted by Rick coming down to take nutrients from a moist muddy spot. She had some damage to the right side lower wing. She was also the last seen at approximately 5. At Fermyn Woods last week we saw fresh looking males in all their full changing colour all in the afternoon. It is a bit of a myth that the morning is always best!

After our first sighting another appeared of which I am reasonably confident was a male. Very brief glimpses of purple on the wings. At one point there was two on the ground and another up the ride. In all at least 4 seen and possible a 5th along the other side of the wood of which swooped pow before climbing back up into the trees. They were coming down to take up nutrients not only from the moist parts but also the drier parts of the path. But we also came across one feasting on ready meals. In this case delivered from the backside of a passing horse.

This individual was happily sharing with a Green-veined White. We managed to photograph at least 3 individuals all coming down to the path. We might not have experienced too much of the purple flash but we did experience the sound of beating wings flying low around our heads which was a first for us. Other butterflies seen. Meadow Brown and Ringlets in good numbers, however the number of Marbled Whites at this site seemed to out compete them in numbers. It was far too hot to contemplate the overall numbers in a given area let alone the entire site, but all 3 species likely to be in their thousands across the whole site. Other species seen. On the way back we also found a pair of longhorn moths.

Both engaged in a fascinating display of courtship with their unfeasibly long antenna. I'm not familiar with the exact species but was a delight to see after the Purple Emperor action. Would recommend visiting if you are available in the next week or so for the Emperor but well worth exploring for the other butterflies too when a little cooler. Last night, Red data book status. More sun and butterflies. Ringlets seem to be much reduced, a fresh Common Blue should be the start of a new brood, a tired-looking Large Skipper delayed me for a little while trying to determine which of the other two species it was - it was the hooks on the antennas that pulled me to reality and I only managed to add Green-veined White because the female couldn't get away from me fast enough on account of the male she was attached too.

Silver washed Fritillaries were soon bombing along the ride. Small Skippers and Large Skippers completed our tally along the ride. Matt then rejoined the party and showed us the location of a White Admiral in a holly bush. It kept leaving and returning to the same Holly - a puzzle until we realised that honeysuckle was growing on the Holly. In the clearing we added Marbled White , Painted Lady , Speckled Wood and finally Purple Emperor , which flew in through around and above a group of mature Sallows offering multiple good viewing opportunities. The party then split and a small group moved on to Mutchetts Wood where some of us had a clear view of a Purple Emperor cruising at canopy level across the railway line.

Later we had another view on the east side of the line through a canopy gap. A very hot but rewarding day. We annually now see Silver-washed Fritillary at Hilfield Res. Today I saw one and then thought I had another, and that they were perhaps mating. However, on checking my photos, I find an astonishing shot of a male Silver-washed with a Dark Green Fritillary. There is one previous record to my knowledge of Dark Green Fritillary at Hilfield, but to see one with a Silver-washed Fritillary like this is I think extraordinary. Heartwood Forest. Bumped into Malcolm Hull who described the excellent sightings of Purple Emperors that he and his group had that morning. I also saw two other Purple Emperors in the canopies but couldn't be sure whether they were male or female.

Also saw my first ever White-letter Hairstreak 1 and two Brimstone. After a few hours I was trudging wearily along approximately in the direction of home whilst wondering if there was a limit to the number of Meadow Browns I could observe without becoming completely zombiefied. Then a yellow butterfly zipped past me in a Pevensey meadow and I hared after it shedding at least 65 years along the way to a rendezvous at a Ragwort flower where I peered at the Clouded Yellow's big green eyes through close focus binoculars as it looked back at me as if assessing what mad alien creature this could be.

Skippers exclude,I should think, at least another very active individuals from the two smaller species. Norton Green Common. Couple of the Purple Emperor this morning. It was on the ground when I arrived just before 8. Branch Event Heartwood Forest, Sandridge - branch butterfly walk looking for Purple Emperor was successful in finding the target species. With so many people coming along, we split into two groups with Malcolm Hull and Andrew Steele leading one each. The skippers really lived up to their name and just would not stop. Eventually we got a close enough look to identify one of each species. The highlights were several sightings of Purple Emperor on the ground, as well as at least two in the oak - so 5 at a minimum.

Both male and female emperors posed obligingly for photos. The male already had a nick in its wing, probably from a previous bird attack. There was a moment of high drama when the two groups of butterfly spotters met on the path alongside Well Wood. When we were 20 yards apart the male Emperor landed on the track halfway between the two groups. As we observed it a blackbird sprung out of a bush and launched an attack on the butterfly. Luckily it took swift avoiding action shot up in the air and vanished into the woods.

From 1pm we surveyed the canopy through binoculars, but without seeing any treetop action. The heat was intense and as butterfly spotters wilted and retreated to the car park there was a brief appearance from a new brood Peacock and several sightings of Oak Eggar tearing through at high speed. Finally after nearly an hour a single Emperor sailed across the canopy, though no chase ensued, perhaps too hot even for butterflies this afternoon! There were noticeably less flying on the way back to the car park. There was activity from 1. Only ever saw 2 at any one time however, one perched nicely on some leaves and we obtained good views through our telescope.

I am excited to report that I sighted a male Purple Emperor at about I saw it again flying in the same area at It was flying at the top of the escarpment off the main path in one of the clearings where there are sallow trees. It was gliding very close to the ground for 5 minutes and settled several times so I could identify the purple sheen on the forewing. This is the first time I've seen one here since and have recorded them here on and off since when I saw my first one but this is one of the best sightings I've had in that time.

I was even able to share my joy with a passing dog walker. Taking advantage of the sunny weather we made another visit to Cassiobury Park and Whippendell Woods. Despite searching we did not see any White-letter Hairstreak and only 2 Purple Hairstreak. Either they are late to emerge or are having a bad season in Whippendell Woods. Norton Green am in the strong sunshine there was a lot of butterfly activity to be observed. Plus 1 Male Purple Emperor. Symonshyde Great Wood near Hatfield - 27 Silver-washed Fritillaries , nearly all males but including a mating pair. The butterflies were jostling for territories along the ride with one or more seen in every sunny pocket where bramble flowers are present.

I've never seen as many on one site in Herts. Also 17 Speckled Woods - good news as I heard on the radio this morning that this species has had a poor year so far. Also at this site 4 Commas , a Red Admiral and many browns and whites. At Ellenbrook Fields, I had multiple sightings of a male Purple Emperor cruising serenely around a high point in the canopy in Home Wood. Another Emperor swooped down low near my feet before disappearing up into the trees.

Just one Silver-washed Fritillary at this location - a clear indication of how a commercially managed Woodland such as Symonshyde is better for the SWF than a neglected amenity wood. From the ones I identified Small were outnumbering Essex by As I arrived at the dog pond TL at Between this time and , 4 different males each with distinct wing markings came to the ground along this ride, and one flew around the corner and down the northern edge of Pudler's Wood a passing fellow Lepidopterist, Mark Sterling, showed me a photo on his mobile of a female Purple Emperor he saw at this spot last year - and also the year before - in the mid afternoon, on horse droppings.

At Photography was easy for snaps, allowing easy approach, and the butterflies seemed unfazed by my presence, but it was difficult to get good shots as no individuals settled for long, they were constantly moving on the ground, and were flying short distances trying out different places to feed, often in amongst grass stems. But it was such a joy to see so many groundings, and in my local forest!

I met a family of 3 who had seen another two males perching and fighting in a tree around m away to the SW near the railway bridge at TL, so certainly there were at least these additional males making a minimum count of 6. I also saw several males flying at medium height, but I have no idea if these were the same individuals or not. In addition, ignoring the grassland species which Malcolm counted yesterday plenty flying today too , I also spotted a single very fresh Painted Lady , plus Small Tortoiseshell x1, Red Admiral x5, Comma x8, Speckled Wood x4, and Purple Hairstreak x4.

I managed to squeeze in a few hours at Aldbury Nowers with Rick Vickers. It remained overcast but dry at least. A good number of butterflies were seen. Despite the dull weather the Dark Green Fritillaries were very active and difficult to photograph. Branch Event Norton Green field trip. It had already clouded over by the scheduled time am when 9 of us including ourselves turned up.

We didn't hold much hope for many butterflies but Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns and Ringlets were happy to fly in the meadow in the overcast conditions. It wasn't until around noon when the skies brightened without any strong sunshine that there was more butterfly activity mostly on the edge of Watery Grove where we found Silver-washed Fritilaries and Purple Hairstreaks, one of which of the latter alighted low down on the brambles. At about 1 pm, 5 of us stayed behind for a short break before embarking on a walk past Pigeonswick Cottage to the spot west of Newton Wood where the White Admiral was seen on Tuesday. Although the sun tried to break through, we did not see the butterfly on this occasion. Successful walk at Chorleywood Common.

Thank you to Val, Irene, Daniel and Brandon for joining me. We saw our first Purple Hairstreaks and our first Silver-washed Fritillary! So a good day! No blues. No Speckled Woods. Heartwood Forest, Sandridge - multiple Purple Emperor sightings with at least six different individuals. At the high point in Pudler's Wood three males had set up territories on prominent trees, one in an ash, one on a lime and one an oak. When the sun came out for a brief spell there were two clashing around the tallest ash tree. I also saw several emperors fly out from the wood and away towards the sallows at heights of about 15 feet.

I suspect these are females. One individual was searching round the sallows, possibly a male looking for females. Not bad for a day with only 5 mins of sun. Hopefully there will be more to see on the branch butterfly walk on Saturday. That is now fully booked, but there are still places on Sunday's walk at Bricket Wood Common if you fancy looking for some of our woodland emperors, admirals and fritillaries - to book a place click here. We visited Balls Wood and Hertford Heath walking up from Goose Green for the first time in many years but unfortunately we were like many others thwarted by cloud. In a few moments of brighter weather just before midday a Purple Emperor was seen to fly around an oak in a lower west side section of Balls Wood.

Later we were joined by Laurence Drummond who showed us where he had seen territorial males in a previous year on the eastern side of Hertford Heath by the Roundings. We watched and waited in the gloom and walked around the Heath and were on the verge of giving up when just before 3pm it got a bit brighter and a male Purple Emperor was seen in flight at the top of some oaks nearby. It looked like it planned to carry on flying further up towards Laurence's oaks but despite a bit more sun we didn't see it again. Although some butterflies were flying, in particular Meadow Brown and Ringlet , no Silver-washed Fritillary or White Admiral were seen.

Purple Hairstreak were active high in the oaks when there was a bit of sunshine! Two minor highlights: Just one Small Tortoiseshell in the last or so butterflies identified but it has the distinction of being the first for very many years in my own garden. Elsewhere a Peacock is the first of this year's brood I've seen and ahead of several wandering caterpillars I've seen in recent days. Half an hour in meadow in Alexandra Park yielded 10 species, though no more than half a dozen of any one. The latter oviposting. Also a 6-spot Burnet.

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