I have never seen so many dragonflies in Rowney Woods as I saw today…literally hundreds of hawkers flying around, particularly over the fields of barley near the entrance to the woods. The hawkers were far too busy to settle so I had to content myself with this female Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) who stayed put long enough for me to photograph her.

As always – take my ID with a large pinch of salt…I’m regularly wrong – feel free to correct if you know 😉


I have been trying to get an inflight dragonfly for some time and I finally got one today whilst walking through Rowney Woods. Typically, having failed a number of times previously I managed to get 4 or 5 of them today!

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I take a lot of photographs every day, but rarely publish more than one or two. Indeed I have a lot of photographs that I haven’t even processed which seems a shame, so here’s, hopefully, the first of a few catch up posts.

Yesterday we had a great walk around Rowney Wood, a lovely wood between Thaxted and Saffron Walden – you’ll find it almost opposite the main entrance to Carver Barracks as you head towards Debden in Essex. We spent around an hour strolling around the woods and saw many species of butterfly, all of which are shown in this image.

Of the butterflies going clockwise from top left we have:

  • Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
  • Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)
  • Large Skipper (Ochlodes faunu)
  • Comma (Polygonia c-album)
  • Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)
  • Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

There was a species of butterfly that we often see in the woods but didn’t see yesterday which is the Peacock (Aglais io)…that’s the caterpillar you see here – there were hundreds of these busily devouring nettle leaves.


We had our first walk in Rowney Woods this afternoon for the first time in 2 or 3 weeks…the growth is amazing. We went, amongst other things, to find some dragonflies to photograph, but they had all cleared off…leaving a whole host of butterflies and moths dashing about…but my favourite photograph of the day had to be this Long-jawed Orb-weaver Spider (Tetragnatha extensa), also known as the Common Stretch Spider.

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We took a quick stroll around Rowney Woods this afternoon. The bracken is sprouting up very nicely and the sunshine really lit it up.


It was a rather grey and dull day in essex, but we spent an hour or so walking around Rowney woods this afternoon. The sky was quite uninteresting but using some HDR techniques defined the clouds rather more and I quite like the repetition of shapes between the sky line and the tree line.


We visited Rowney Woods for a walk today and found loads of new blossom sprouting out everywhere – here is just a small sample of what was on show.


We took a walk around Rowney Woods this afternoon. As we entered the woods we were greated with a huge and long clap of thunder which did give us fair warning of the sort of weather we were about to “enjoy”


…we were certainly surprised 😉

I know the sun had come out…but really!


The wind dropped and the sun made a rare appearance so we dashed out to take a walk around Rowney Woods this morning. When we arrived it was a completely featureless blue sky…nice after what we have had recently, but not great for interesting photographs. Fortunately some clouds had started to appear and the sun was casting a really nice light onto the Silver Birches in the woods. I knew, becasue the sky was such a rich blue I’d be able to get a really good black and white conversion and I was very pleased with the outcome.