Lepsoc weekend in the Midlands (Day 1, Umgeni Valley)
Last weekend was a long weekend and we all took advantage of it to either get away or get a lot done. Tracey had just come out of hospital having had a hernia repaired so we were to stay put. Steve Woodhall had also organised a Lepidopterists Society of SA three day outing to our area so I decided to tag along.
The first day was to be in the Umgeni Valley. We met at 8, quite a croud of local PMB camera club people (led by Willy Schlosser), lepsoc (Steve, the Coburns from Greytown, Jenny Norman and others) Pieter and Ciska Venter (South Coasters that I met on a photo form on the NET), Doug Morton and Gordon Bennett (Doug a photographer http://www.douglasimages.co.za, and Gordon a wealth of bird knowledge) and then me, bringing up the rear!!
With Trace in bed I decided to keep to the high ground with Doug and Gordon, the rest of the folks went into the valley. We agreed to meet at lunch time.
Doug, Gordon and I went up the little hill near the saddle. This little spot is, for me, one of the most prolific spots in the area with a huge number of butterflies on the wing. We got to the top and the usual insects were hilltopping, loads of Nymphalids, Acraeas and others sharing the hill top with a number of Dragonflies and Damselflies. It was windy and overcast so photography was tough but here are a few shots taken.
After checking on Tracey at lunch time I returned with Stella (middle daughter). We all met up at Aniversary Cottage (where the Coburns were staying) and took a slow walk down to the river where you always see insects mud-puddling and is a great spot for Damsel flies. We saw a number of butterflies from Paralethe dendophilus to Precis tugela and then the little blues. The freash winter forms of both Precis archesia and P octavia sesamus were out as well and their colours lit up a rather drab landscape.