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The Importance of Sallow

The Importance of Sallow
Photo Information
Copyright: Ivan Kruys (Argus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-04-10
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 300 f4L + Canon 1.4 converter
Exposure: f/9.5, 1/750 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-04-11 8:14
Viewed: 3505
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The sallow plays an important part in sustaining our N. European insect fauna.
Here the male flowers attract two Small Tortoiseshell butterflies

Sallow, or Goat Willow, Salix caprea

Swedish name: Sälg

This species of willow is common in most of Europe and it is the most common species of Salix in Scandinavia. It flowers early in the spring before the leaves come out.

The yellow tones of the flowers how that these are male flowers. The female flowers are greenish and like those of the male, grow on a short stem. Both sexes produce nectar that attract insects, though it is only the male flowers that produce pollen.

When fully grown the Sallow is regarded as a small tree that is either male or female.

Sallow flowers (or catkins) are a great help for early spring insects like the over wintering species of butterflies, bees and early flies, to survive.

Over 180 species of moths and butterflies are dependent on Sallow as their larval host plant and 200 species of beetles either depend on the wood or the bark with about another 75 feeding on the leaves.

Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae

Swedish name: Nässelfjäril, meaning'nettle butterfly'

A common European species of butterfly occurring in 2-3 generations per year and over wintering as a an adult.
The larval host plant is nettles.

This was taken with my long lens hand-held at a distance of about 1.8 meters (6 ft). After slight cropping and size reduction the image was slightly sharpened using the unsharp mask mode and converted from RAW to JPEG.

marius-secan, bungbing, maaciejka, PaulLees, jignasi, Ishi, maurydv, Csabesz68, joska, flashpoint, CeltickRanger, brech, jaycee, Noisette, ramthakur, dmark11, paolo49, nagraj, siggi, nikosrio, anel, ana974 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Ivan,
Splendid capture of a lovely scene. Exceptional colors, details and superb POV for both butterflies.
Excellent composition with great light and perfect focus.

Very nice butterfly, great colours and composition!

Hello Ivan,
Fantastic capture of these butterfly, excellent point of view with both with wings wide open! Great colours and contrast on the wing with very good sharpness and details,
Thanks for sharing,

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2011-04-11 8:48]

Hi Ivan
What a fantastic capture!!!!
Excellent sharp details and colors.
Perfect spring shot!

Ciao Ivan. Great double capture! Brilliant colours for butterflyes and flower. Superb light's results. Great shot.


Hi Ivan, my neighbour today,
Perfect photo of these twins. Excellent point of view. Great sharpness. Very nice composition. Interesting note.
Thanks for sharing,

Hi Ivan,

Well Ivan my friend this image is picture perfect, great detail and awesome sharpness throughout, natural colours in both Butterfly's and and flowers, good strong composition and worthy of many more accolades,
Congratulations Ivan and well done,
Best Regards,


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-04-11 9:08]

Hi Ivan,2 is better as i can see! Very impressive composition whit a total focus and sharpness,finally it's springtime to you too and we wait a lot of new surprises from Sweden!And this is truely great! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

FANTASTIC photo Ivan!! The POV and the composition are excellent, the colours are wonderful and the sharpness is impressive.

Hello Ivan,
I do not remember seeing two beautiful butterflies in one photo since I joined here. A truly fabulous image. I agree with all the accolades above. Very well done indeed. Thank you and best wishes.

Splendid Photo! It's good to see our fluttering friends return.


Ciao Ivan, splendid couple of fantastic butterflies, lovely blurry BG, great light, wonderful natural colors, superb sharpness and fine details, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Hola Ivan,
un trabajo precioso el que nos presentas hoy y un derroche de buena técnica.
El conjunto de colores es armónico y simplemente... delicioso.
Buen equilibrio del conjunto pero especialmente me gusta la composición.
Muy interesante la explicación de la importancia de esa especie de sauce.
Un abrazo: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • Ishi Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 298 W: 21 N: 1943] (13387)
  • [2011-04-11 11:37]

Hi Ivan,

Lovely capture of this duo on the Salix caprea. You got just right! My only slight criticism is the very tight cropping of the lower middle flower.

All the best,


Hallo Ivan
a superb double capture of the Small Tortoiseshell, outstanding sharpness and fantastic colours, wonderful composition
Best regards

Hi Ivan!
great capture with excellent POV, perfect DOF and colors! Details are amazing and the well blurred Bg emphasizes the subject!

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2011-04-11 12:05]

Hi Ivan,
Splendid photo of this Butterfly and salix caprea, great and rare moment too see tis aspect, TFS!

Magnifique !!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-04-11 14:00]

Hello Ivan,
Surprising photo in high quality. The choice of composition works perfect here. Everything is splendid in this photo. The blue spots on the wings are like diamonds.

  • Great 
  • dolors (33)
  • [2011-04-11 14:29]

Hi, Ivan,
Very nice composition. Excellent sharp details and colors. Congratulations.
Best regards,

Hello Ivan

Beautiful photo of these butterflies with fine
POV and the way they are framed on the image,
beautiful color tones, excellent contrast,
great focus sharpness and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2011-04-11 16:09]

Hi Ivan,

The Tortoiseshell pair certainly are an attractive way to show off the Sallow! They are posing perfectly to enhance the flower. A beautiful picture with wonderful colors and fine details. I love the composition.


Hello Ivan
wonderful image of this couple of tortoiseshell, really a great capture ! both butterflies are captured with wings wide open and with excellent details, the willow flowers are also very sharp, superb light, BG and DOF
Have a good night

Best ever double subject picture on TN, Ivan.
The picture is mint fresh and beautifully composed. The two butterflies with their wings open are in perfect focus and the special colours and patterns on their spread-out wings are there to gaze at and admire.
Thanks and regards.

Hi Ivan,
This is wonderful. The two Tortoishell butterflies are beutiful up against the flowers. Great focus and light. Very nice.

Hello Ivan, great catch, get one and buy one. A very beautiful image of these beautiful butterflies. All the best, Paul

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2011-04-12 0:33]

This image is more of two lovely Tortoiseshell butterfly than the Sallow, wish to see more of it with some leaves and flowers. Beautiful colors of butterflies and flowers, good contrast. tfs.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-04-12 0:53]

Hello Ivan,
excellent capture of a beautifull couple,very sharp details, nice colors and light, well blured BG, well done.Best regards Siggi

Hello Ivan,
beautiful photo, nice framing, beautiful light, sharp details and nice color, great BG,

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2011-04-12 4:10]

Bonjour Ivan,
Just lovely! Excellent under all aspects, subject, light, composition, sharpness. And an interesting note concernig Salix caprea.
The perfect Spring-picture!

Hello Ivan!
Gorgeous couple of butterflies in a very elegant composition! really great shot with amazing sharpness and fine details! Many congrats! TFS
Regards from,

wonderful scene and composition Ivan, a very fine photo performance!
regards Nasos

A beautiful shot and contrasting colors, beautiful composition!!!

great combination, TFS Ori

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