15th-22nd. Back in Tuscany. I flew in via Pisa, and spent a night and morning around the tower and Piazza dei Miracoli. All Italy photos taken with the Fujifilm X70.
An evening watching the jousting parade at Arezzo was marred somewhat by some street brawls.
We went to see Piero della Francesca's works in Sansepolcro. Aldous Huxley referred to the 'The Resurrection' as 'the greatest picture in the world'. It is being restored at present, and required some interesting viewing angles.
I was really impressed by the small paintings from the bottom of the Polyptych of the Misericordia, including this flagellation scene.
Most of the time was spent at Lucie's house, and in nearby Monterchi.
Wildlife included a male and female golden oriole flying past the house, a hobby chasing the swallows, and wasp beetles that are mating on the walnut tree that was brought down in a recent storm (I am sitting under the tree before it was blown over in a post from last month).
Nine-spot Amata phegea, female
A wild boar came to the manure pile in daylight. It seems to have a hole in its face.
We had great fun with a camera trap - apart from the cats we caught red fox, roe deer, and wild boar. The adult boar in the manure pile (not sure if it's the same as the one above) kept its mouth open a lot, and it or another was dead in the undergrowth close to Lucie's house the following day.
5th-9th. Another magnificent field course at Orielton, with a great day on Skomer. We had some of the best weather in the history of the course, and the students were excellent.
Puffins - the bottom one with a severe tick infestation.
There were lots of painted lady butterflies present and laying eggs on the thistles. Hopefully there will be a lot emerging later in the summer.
A speckled wood butterfly that shows the adaptive value of eyespots - a bird pecked the eyespot and the butterfly's body remained intact (just!)
Broad-bellied chaser and black-tailed skimmer
The hoverfly Volucella bombylans is a splendid mimic of the bumble-bee Bombus leucorum.
The tachinid fly Phasia hemiptera
Red campion and Ranunculus, and woodland at Orielton
2nd. I was mowing the lawn last Monday, and a noticed a pink bud on a plant. I mowed around it because I wasn't sure what the plant was, and it looked interesting. When I went out this evening I saw two beautiful bee orchids - remarkable - I've never seen these in the area. Updated photos taken on 10th.