Lizards, flowers, butterflies of Italy, bye bye!

Flowers near irrigation canal, Italy, 19 September 2013

After 18 September 2013 in Liguria, Italy, 19 September. Our last day. For the last time, uphill to the irrigation canal and the flowers around it.

A lizard on a railing runs away fast. It is a lot bigger and greener than the wall lizards we have seen so far. A female western green lizard?

Butterfly, Italy, 19 September 2013

Bye bye also to the butterflies of Italy.

Swallowtail butterfly, moth and grasshopper in Italy

Old world swallowtail, Italy, 18 September 2013

After the botanical garden of 16 September 2013 in Liguria, Italy, and after 17 September, today 18 September. Along the irrigation canal, an old world swallowtail butterfly.

Old world swallowtail spreading wings, Italy, 18 September 2013

Old world swallowtails in the Netherlands: here.

Then, climbing, to Olivetta village.

Olivetta San Michele, 18 September 2013

Then, a steep mountain path, towards the French border.

Six-spot burnet, Italy, 18 September 2013

Near a hilltop, a six-spot burnet moth.

Mountains, Italy, 18 September 2013

And a beautiful view of surrounding hills and mountains.

Irrigation canal, Italy, 18 September 2013

Later, blue butterflies along the irrigation canal again.

Grasshopper, Italy, 18 September 2013

And a grasshopper.

Butterflies, damselflies, abandoned church in Italy

Dragonfly couple, Italy, 17 September 2013

17 September 2013. Still in Liguria, Italy, shortly before arrival in the abandoned village Bussare. Two damselflies of the Lestidae family making a heart-shaped figure for mating.

Bussare, Italy, path, 17 September 2013

We arrive at Bussare. The streets still have names. In the middle is a small square, with a sign Piazza Cavour, honouring a nineteenth century politician. However, now, in the twenty-first century, I don’t see any human living here.

Silver-washed fritillary, Bussare, Italy, 17 September 2013

However, I do see butterflies. Like a male silver-washed fritillary butterfly.

Bussare, Italy, church, 17 September 2013

The Roman Catholic church building’s name, “Immaculate Conception“, is still there. Now, however, accompanied by another sign: “For sale”.

Bussare, Italy, church name, 17 September 2013

We walk back, past Bussare. On a blackberry bush, another beautiful butterfly, one of the biggest species in Europe: a two-tailed pasha.

Two-tailed pasha, Italy, 17 September 2013

We go back to the bridge. Now, a hummingbird hawk-moth feeding at the butterfly-bush.

Will there be lizards, or snakes, near the old tyre? Not this time.

Bevera river, 17 September 2013

Further, in the river: trout and pondskaters.

On the footpath: a male pheasant.

Butterflies, lizards, abandoned village in Italy

Olivetta San Michele, 17 September 2013

After the botanical garden of 16 September 2013 in Liguria, Italy, 17 September 2013, more to the north, around Olivetta village.

Wall lizard, Ciantri, Italy, 17 September 2013

Again, a wall lizard near a flower-pot.

Small white male, Italy, 17 September 2013

A male small white butterfly along the path.

Brown and white butterfly, Italy, 17 September 2013

A brown and white butterfly on a wall.

Today, again downstream, to the abandoned village Bussare.

On the butterfly-bush near the bridge, a small white.

In the old tyre on the riverside pebbles, this time we don’t see reptiles, like three days ago.

In a quiet part of the mostly fast stream, small fish.

Wall lizard on tyre, Italy, 17 September 2013

When we look at the old tyre again five minutes later, there is a reptile: a wall lizard. Then, it hides inside one of the holes in the tyre.

Jersey tiger moth, Italy, 17 September 2013

After we have passed the bridge, a Jersey tiger moth.

Along the old footpath to Bussare, a small irrigation canal; with pondskaters.

Bussare, Italy, 17 September 2013

We approach Bussare. No sign of inhabitants. Only some holidaymakers.

Cicada, turtles, firecrest, dragonfly in Italian botanical garden

This Italian video is about Hanbury Botanical Gardens in Liguria, Italy. Unfortunately, when we came, we did not hear the music of this video. Also, we did not hear many birds. Maybe because it was not spring?

16 September 2013. After my description of going from the entrance of Hanbury Botanical Gardens in Italy to the sea, now about going back from the sea to the entrance; which is also the exit.

Cicada on Aleppo pine, Italy, 16 September 2013

Close to the sea-coast, a rather noisy and big cicada on a big Pinus halepensis coniferous tree.

Signs indicate that wild boar have digged in some spots in the garden.

We don’t see them. We do see other mammals: two red squirrels play catch me if you can around a big tree.


A short-toed treecreeper climbs up a tree.

A wheatear. A magpie.

Then, one of the two smallest bird species of Europe: a firecrest.

This is a firecrest video. It takes some time for the camera to find this fast-moving little bird 🙂

Brugmansia plants. In South America, their homeland, hummingbirds pollinate them. Here in Italy, Agrius convolvuli moths do so.

Passiflora, Italy, 16 September 2013

A Passiflora flower.

Fungi, Italy, 16 August 2013

A bit further is a part of the garden, exclusively for Australian plants. Are the fungi, growing among them, Australian as well? Apparently not, as these sulphur polypores are European and North American.

Cumberland turtle, top, and red-eared slider, bottom, Italy, 16 September 2013

We arrive at a pond with goldfish. And with quite some Cumberland turtles and red-eared slider turtles.

Emperor dragonfly female, Italy, 16 September 2013

Around a smaller pond below the turtle pond, a big female dragonfly: an emperor dragonfly.

As we walk along the pond near the villa again, a carp between the goldfish.

Flowers, dragonflies, lizard at Italian botanical garden

This video is called Hanbury garden, Liguria, Italy.

16 September 2013, after 15 September in Liguria, Italy. Today, to the Hanbury Botanical Gardens near Ventimiglia.

As we wait for the bus, goldfinches. A green woodpecker calls.

From the bus, a male pheasant crossing the main road.

We pass the botanical garden entrance.

Hanbury Botanical Gardens, Italy, near the entrance, 16 September 2013

A great tit calls.

In the garden, especially subtropical climate plants. From various countries, but especially from Mexico and South Africa.

Near the entrance, Senecio serpens, a succulent from South Africa.

Kleinia petraea, Italy, 16 September 2013

A bit further, another South African: Kleinia petraea.

Hanbury Botanical Gardens, Italy, 16 September 2013

We went a bit more downhill, closer to the sea.

In a pond near the villa, goldfish. A dragonfly on the bank.

Cyphostemma juttae, Italy, 16 September 2013

Another plant, this time from Namibia: Cyphostemma juttae.

A saguaro cactus from Mexico.

Wall lizard, Italy, 16 September 2013

A bit further, a wall lizard.

Common darter male, Italy, 16 September 2013

And a male common darter dragonfly on a leaf.

We reach the end of the botanical garden: the sea-coast. Stay tuned for a report on the way back through the garden.

Lizards, moths and butterflies in Italy

Young wall lizard near flower pot, Italy, 15 September 2013

After 14 September in Liguria, Italy, today 15 September. With a young wall lizard next to a flower pot.

Grasshopper, Italy, 15 September 2013

A grasshopper along the path.

Butterflies along the irrigation canal.

A dung beetle rolls a ball of dung across the path.

A big lizard disappears quickly into a hole in a wall.

We reach a hilltop above the cemetery of Olivetta village.

Six-spot burnet moth, Italy, 15 September 2013

A six-spot burnet moth on grass.

Hilltop view, Italy, 15 September 2013

We look around, at other hills and mountains.

Ciantri, Italy, 15 September 2013

We go downhill. Below us, Ciantri hamlet.

Torre village, Italy, 15 September 2013

To the other side, Torre village.

As we go down, on a yellow flower, a grasshopper.

River clubtail, Italy, 15 September 2013

A bit further, a female red-veined darter dragonfly.

Common blue, Italy, 15 September 2013

A common blue butterfly on a grass stem.

Then, a hummingbird hawk-moth. Moving too fast to photograph.

Olivetta in the rain, Italy, 15 September 2013

As evening starts to fall, it rains. We see Olivetta village through a curtain of rain.

Lizards, snakes and butterflies in Italy

This video is called Main road from Olivetta San Michele to Bussare (Italy).

After 13 September 2013 in Italy came 14 September.

In the morning, to Olivetta village.

Butterflies, including meadow brown and gatekeeper.

Colourful butterfly, Olivetta, 14 September 2013

And a colourful one [UPDATE: a Jersey tiger moth; see here].

Great tit sound. Buzzard sound.

In the afternoon, we went down the Bevera river valley.

Trout swim in that river. A trout is also in the local coat of arms.

Olivetta San Michele coat of arms, with trout

Near a bridge over the river, butterfly-bush grows. It attracts many butterflies, most of them orange coloured. Including Argynnis paphia (silver-washed fritillaries).

Silver-washed fritillary, 14 September 2013

Near the river bank close to the bridge, an old car tyre. Inside it, a young snake (grass snake?). On top of the tyre, two young wall lizards.

Immaculate conception church tower, Bussare, 14 September 2013

We continue to Bussare village. A village, practically abandoned by people. The Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic church still stands, but there are no services any more. It is for for sale.

Copper demoiselle damselflies in love

Copper demoiselle, Italy, 13 September 2013

13 August 2013; in Liguria in Italy. I have already written about seeing damselflies then.

Copper demoiselle male, Italy, 13 September 2013

Which damselflies? These photos clearly show a male of the Calopteryx genus. There are only four species of that genus in Europe. So, that should be easy. But it turned out to be not that easy in practice.

Was this a beautiful demoiselle, a species living both in central and southern Europe? The reddish-brownish colour of the body does not fit; maybe a non-representative individual? Or a southern European species: copper demoiselle? The reddish-brownish colour of the body also does not really fit.

Someone who had photographed copper demoiselles before confirmed it was this species indeed, and was so kind to send this photo of these two specimens in love as well. The male at the top of the photograph, the female below.

Copper demoiselles

Here, they have started to make a heart-shaped form together.

Copper demoiselles in heart-shaped form

And on this (Wikipedia) photo, the heart-shaped form is complete.

Golden eagle, damselflies and blue butterflies

Common blue butterfly, Italy, 13 September 2013

13 September 2013. Still in Italy, in the afternoon after this morning. Many butterflies again. Near the small irrigation canal, eg, this beautiful common blue butterfly.

Beautiful damselflies as well, of the Calopteryx genus. Copper demoiselles?

A pheasant calls.

Then, a much bigger bird flying high in the sky. A juvenile golden eagle.

Pondskaters on the irrigation canal.

Torre, Italy, insect on flowering plant, 13 September 2013

In Torre village, a bug on a flowering plant.

Butterfly, Italy, 13 September 2013

On our way back, butterflies again. Including meadow brown.

Brown and white butterfly, Italy, 13 September 2013

Grasshopper, Italy, 13 September 2013

When we are nearly back, various grasshopper species.

Another grasshopper, Italy, 13 September 2013