Animals of Eure – Aglais io, European peacock butterfly

All photographs were made by myself. The German name for this butterfly is Tagpfauenauge, which translates to “daily eye on the tail of a peacock”. The French name is Paon-du-jour which means “peacock of the day”. And yes, there are peacocks of the night as well, but I never saw one.

I used to have a huge pasture in Morsan, which I kept half “natural”, meaning I didn’t cut all the stinging nettles and thistles in summer, while the sheep were elsewhere on the other half of the property. Peacock butterflies love thistles (and butterfly-bushes).

Tagpfauenauge Morsan
The first peacock butterfly I was able to shoot in Morsan with my old point and shoot camera in April 2013.
Aglais io
This one is from July 2015 also in Morsan. Took this with a Canon 60D. You can see the thistle field and in the bokeh a yellow insect on another thistle flower.

In Beaumont-le-Roger we don’t have as many thistles. And the next butterfly bush was this year at the other end of the road. I saw one peacock butterfly in spring.

Peacock butterfly
That’s the underside of the wings in March 2022 in Beaumont-le-Roger, taken with a Canon 6D.
Peacock butterfly in grass
The same butterfly hiding in grass. There aren’t many flowers here in March.

As usual you can find more about peacock butterflies on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aglais_io

Round bales of straw look like Easter Island statues to me

Die deutsche Version dieses Artikels ist: hier.

Maybe I’m a bit strange. So many things look beautiful or exotic to me. I take far too many photographs. Round bales of straw, that lie around on the fields in August, look like Easter Island statues to me. I know they don’t have faces. That’s not what makes them so statuesque in my opinion. They were made by humans, they are quite big and they change the view of the landscape.

I took so many photographs in August, over 200, that it took ages to sort them. I got a lot of work atm. My situation didn’t really advance. But it’s pointless to complain. I’d rather show you a gallery of straw roll statues (with dogs).

Cowly neighbours

Looks like I am writing at least one cow-related post per year. Last year I wrote Nose of the cow. Cows still remind me of “Eye of the tiger” but this year they made me wonder if “cowly” is an existing adverb, like sheepishly. No, it’s not, but I found cute toy cows by that name.

This young Normande girl belongs to the son in law of my neighbour. She likes my salty hands and wants to clean the lense of my camera. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Normande cattle are a cattle breed of Normandy. They have cute dark spectacles around their eyes, which is not always visible. Sometimes the whole head is dark.

Isn’t this young Normande girl cute? Own photo on Wikimedia Commons, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

A friend suggested, that the cow adverb might be “cowardly”. Bulls would certainly disagree but it’s not true anyways. “Coward” comes from the Old-French word “coue” for tail. A coward is someone who hides his tail between his legs like a scared dog. No offence meant dear doggies, I bet you are all rather waggers than cowards.

And this one seems to ask for cookies. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Vachement“, a French adverb, that is indeed cow-related, means extremely/ a lot/ very. Maybe because cows are very funny and extremely cute.

Two jung girls performing a ballet, while the third one wears an anti-sucking nose ring and has not as much fun. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

These nose-rings are supposed to help on weaning a calf. The calf stops to suck at the teats of the mother because the ring hurts. The government of Ontario (and most likely the sellers of these devices) make it sound as if that was good for the calf, but the minister of agriculture should try it himself first. I can’t give any treats to the cows with the nose-rings. No matter how careful we are, we always touch the ring. Which means those cows have more pain and less fun. Cows explore everything with their nose and their tongues and they can’t do that if they carry rings like that. I’m sure it prevents sucking on the mother’s teats and that’s necessary for the farmers because they want to sell the milk of the mothers, not because it’s so good for the calf. Sorry for my rant, I just hate when people tell bullshit to make things sound better.

Three relaxed Normande heifers. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Then one day they were gone. Just after we had become friends. They were brought to a different pasturage.

The place at our fence where the neighbour’s cows have been hanging around most of the time, we’re obviously interesting and harmless. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

They didn’t move far away though. I found them on the other end of the property of the neighbours.

The cows were bored already and happy to see us. The dogs were not so happy, except Bach, who loves cows. Phex was rolling his eyes and complaining. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

The hand is not the problem, but the little dark box (camera) looks a bit dangerous. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Aren’t these white eyelashes beautiful? Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

These young male Normande weaners live at the entrance of the village. They belong to the son of the man who owns the timber-framed house. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

I like to talk with the man who owns the house. We often meet when I’m walking with the dogs. Normannic expressions are sometimes nearly poetic. Me: “It was a long winter.” He: “A lot of water has fallen.”

A Normande cow. It’s not possible to see her spectacles, because her head is black anyways. Her friends are in the background. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Temptation. Since I had no apple or sheepfood on me I offered her flowers. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

And on the other side, on the field behind the church, was a group of male Charolais weaners. The boy in the middle needs a tissue. I definitely won’t show my hand to him. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More Spring Flowers

Since Spring has sprung a lot more flowers have grown. Meadows and pasturage are colourful. The colza is in flower as well and the landscape gets neat yellow squares.

A pasturage full of taraxacum officinale, common dandelion. To take this photo I’ve been kneeling crouching around. Needless to say a car was going by and the people in the car most likely saw me. “Look, the locals are crawling on the fields.” The dogs were attached to a pole at the fence and waiting for me. I swear they were grinnning. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Blossoms, gnagnagna, maybe pear blossoms. I’m always unsure even though I KNOW this tree. It’s a very old fruit tree and has only very small fruits that don’t look very good and get eaten by the sheep. In the row where it stands are apple and pear trees. So which is which? Sigh. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Cherry blossoms, this time I’m pretty sure. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Cerastium, most likely cerastium arvense, field chickweed. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Mahonia aquifolia, Oregon-grape, a North-American plant. It’s an invasive species. That sounds a bit scary, as if the plant would aim at world domination. It looks quite nice though. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Red campion, Silene dioica. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Apple blossoms at the road. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Wild cleaners

On castle-cleaning one of the mops broke. Rusted away. My first thought was: I’m probably too strong. Then I created a “dog song” or rather “tool song” with the lyrics: “wild cleaners could drag me away” to the tune of “wild horses” (I’m sorry Rolling Stones). Careful, I’m quite loud.

But to be honest that thing was probably ten years old, maybe more. My next thought was: Sillyness is the only thing that keeps me sane. You may quote me.

Miniputz helps me with the washing. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Bach burns dead branches and cleans the garden. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Saw today (when it was peeing), that this is a girl. She cleaned my hand yesterday morning. She lives with the neighbours. She has a lot of weaners friends, they are very curious, funny and a bit shy. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported