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syrphidae

A beautiful hoverfly (Eupeodes corollae) on a dandelion (Taraxacum) 🙂

When I was a child, I thought these flies were unusually fast little bees or wasps but their coloring is a Batesian mimicry and they’re harmless. In fact, they do a lot of good as their larvae prey upon pest insects (which spread some diseases such as “curly top”) and adults feed on nectar and help to pollinate the flowers (which probably is why they’re sometimes called flower flies).

alcedo

A male Eurasian Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), photographed yesterday. Isn’t he beautiful! 🙂 I don’t have a long zoom lens; the first picture has been cropped (he has a small fish in his beak), the second one not (you have to look for the bird in that one).

About the scientific name: Alcedo is Latin and means “kingfisher” and Atthis was the consort of Cybele in Greek mythology. Atthis was also a Phrygian god of vegetation and represented the fruits of the earth, which die in winter only to rise again in the spring.

 

easter17

Going on an egg hunt 🙂  Happy Easter everyone!

lady

This seven-spot ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata) has found the best spot in the park to enjoy the spring! Beautiful blossom and plenty to eat 🙂

The name “ladybug” was coined by European farmers who prayed to the Virgin Mary when pests began eating their crops. After ladybugs came and wiped out the invading insects, the farmers named them “beetle of Our Lady”. This was later shortened to “lady beetle” and “ladybug”.

dinnertime

The yellow dung fly (Scathophaga stercoraria) spend their lives on dung, or looking for it. They are predators and the dung supplies their breeding and hunting ground. They hunt by ambushing insects visiting the dung. Here’s a male dung fly having dinner, its prey so big that I first thought I was interrupting an intimate moment with a lady dung fly 😉

tortoiseshell

Two pictures of a small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), a colourful Eurasian butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. I took these pictures today on the “PEN island” outside Amsterdam.

prunus

A cherry blossom is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus, particularly the Japanese cherry, Prunus serrulata, which is called sakura.

These three images were taken a few days ago in the Kersenbloesempark (Cherry blossom park) at the Amsterdamse Bos. There are 400 cherry trees there, donated Japan’s Women’s Club in the year 2000. All trees have their own name, 200 have Japanese women’s names and 200 Dutch women’s names.

If you happen to be in the area, I can definitely recommend a visit to the park 🙂

w12

Week 12! Little blue spring flowers, they’re called Chionodoxa but are also known as “Glory-of-the-snow”. In Sweden we call them (translated) “Spring Stars”, which I think is a very nice name 🙂

fog

A cold and foggy morning.. This picture was not taken today, because today is a beautiful sunny spring day here in Amsterdam 🙂

w11

Week 11: The first cherry blossoms of the year! 🙂

Prunus serrulata

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