Sunday, 19 July 2009

Back to the holiday

The day after Adam's graduation we set off for foreign parts. Ok, so it was only England, but we did have to cross a border. Sunderland was our destination, the place of LSH's birth, for a two night stay with my MIL.

En route we stopped at the butterfly farm at Dalkeith, a place I've often passed and always wanted to visit. Although it was a misty sort of day, it was pretty warm and it became even warmer when we entered the farm because conditions have to be kept hot and humid. Motorbike gear is not ideal in such a place! Imagine being in a sauna wearing leathers. I stuck it out longer than LSH as I was determined to get some good photos and there were so many beautiful butterflies everywhere, he escaped outside for an ice lolly. I'd love to go again but in shorts and T-shirt next time!

Here are some of what we saw.

Tree Nymph

A Banded Owl

Tree Nymph again

The very beautiful and delicate Glasswing, whose wings were almost transparent

A somewhat preoccupied pair of Scarlet Mormons

Male Scarlet Mormon

No idea what this one was called

The Brown Clipper

A very large caterpillar

Possibly one of those caterpillars in its chrysalis stage

At the border. Apologies for the dark photo.

There's quite often a piper here but not today

Crossing the Tyne Bridge
We hit Newcastle at just the wrong time and got caught up in rush hour traffic. It probably took us at least three times longer than normal to get through and out of the city. The bike was overheating and so were we!

Roker, Seaburn and Whitburn beaches, Sunderland

The next day was hot and sunny, we made for the beach just down the road from MIL's. Sections of the beaches are off limits to dogs during the summer but there are bits in between where they are allowed. We had a walk along the promenades and then sat on the beach for a while........long enough for LSH to end up with a bright red face! The sun was pretty strong.

It was strange to be there without any dogs of our own but I made do with watching all the local dogs go by and took a few photos . The dogs are so used to sharing their beaches, other dogs are not a novelty so they generally just mind their own business. It's a bit different up here where our dogs often have the place to themselves.

LSH paddles. How British does he look? All he needs is the knotted handkerchief.

This dog decided its owner was clearly in need of the kiss of life.

It's mainly just sand and sea here so this Great Dane was quite chuffed with his find.

He was quite a big boy.

I was very impressed with how well behaved this guy was until he blotted his copybook................. stealing this lab's ball and refusing to give it up! This game went on for ages, severely testing the owners' patience.

These two Staffies were oblivious to everything except their balls. They were expert catchers.

One very happy dog.

There's only one more holiday post to come, castles and the zoo will feature.


Owner of Storm and Jackal said...

Those are some beautiful action shots on the beach of the dogs. Love them!

GoldenSamantha said...

Those butterfly pix were simply spectacular - what a photographer you are! And loved the action beach shots - you have such a gifted eye! I'll bet you miss the pups!
Hugs xo

Anonymous said...

wow! What amazing photos! I love the ones of the dogs on the beach! They look so blissfully happy! Congrats on your sons graduation! :)

karensbrae said...

The butterfly pictures are super!

mrsnesbitt said...

Hubby was in Newcastle on Friday, taking a neighbour to the Airport. Took him over 3 hours to get there due to bad weather! We managed a bike ride to York yesterday. Missed the rain! Amazing!

jabblog said...

Wonderful photographs as usual! The Glasswing butterfly is beautiful -so delicate.

Sierra Rose said...

You always have such AMAZING photos!! What kind of lens are you using? Really wonderful shots.

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

Lovely photo's.

Those butterflies are so pretty.

I have still not got round to sorting out mine yet, i am still doing the catching up

Jo said...

Brilliant photography of a) the butterflies and b) the dogs in action on the beach. You are a gifted photographer. Well done. My dh and I visited a butterfly farm here in SA (in shorts and tees!) but it was in the days before I had a digital camera. The Glasswing is a beautiful butterfly. Thanks for shareing this amazing post. Hugs Jo

Ishtar said...

Lol, those dogs are really rocking the beach!

Chris said...

Good blog Sue must have taken ages to do but I enjoyed it. The shot of the Whippet or Greyhound is great, so full of life. The butterflies are lovely and I notice you added an after 9 o'clock one

Martine said...

The pictures of the staffies made my day!!! I sure my staffy sherman and love seeing happy staffies. Thank you!!

I also love the beautiful butterflys... Sugar tried to chase one the other day on our walk... it wasn't nearly as interesting as your butterflies though!

xo sugar & martine

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh, I just LOVED all the pictures! You're a brilliant photographer! How did you get such wonderful, clear, crisp, close-up shots of those butterflies?! And those fantastic action shots of the dogs?! That greyhound looked like it was flying! :-)

Wish I could take photos like far, Camera School hasn't helped much!!


Claire said...

wow, the butterfly shots are amazing! i love the glasswing the most!

Kess And Her Mama said...

My fav butterfly pic is the aptly named Banded Owl! During our holidays, we take pictures of other dogs too coz we miss our lil' rascal at home!

Suldog said...

I truly do love butterflies (and moths, for that matter, which MY WIFE says proves I'm daft, but I digress.) I'd love to visit a place like that someday. Thanks for the inspiration for something to do on our next vacation. MY WIFE will be sending you a nasty letter soon after, of course :-)

Life With Dogs said...

Castles next? I love every post you publish,, but that may be a new favorite for me!