UAE Butterfly diary 1- Papilio demoleu

Papilio demoleus is a common and widespread swallowtail butterfly. It has common names of lime butterfly, lemon butterfly, lime swallowtail and chequered swallowtail. These names refer to the host plant which are usually citrus, mainly cultivated lime. Aside from it’s beauty, this butterfly is considered a pest and an invasive species found from Asia to Australia.

In Oman it is only found in the northern region and in the UAE. I’ve been hunting for this for a while and caught my first glimpse last November at a petrol station near the Rustaq oasis just north of Muscat. The butterfly fluttered over the car and off into the desert before I could turn my camera on.

I never saw another one in Oman, despite much looking.

Imagine my surprise this past weekend, when I was wandering along a beach on the East coast of the UAE, close to Dibba, at low tide looking for one my favourite shells that seems only to be found on the East coast at a couple of beaches, when I caught a flash of black, white and red and an exhausted Lime butterfly fluttered down onto the sand in front of me. I managed to creep up and get some close-up shots.

A delight to see…

Thursday doors, 23/11/17. Al Lou’aluo’ayyah…

Al Lou’aluo’ayyah is a small town and beach on the East coast of the UAE. It’s on our stop-off list on an East coast day out, as the tidal zone on the beach frequently throws up interesting and unusual shells.

The beach is long and rather beautiful…

Jelly-fish, my first Mitra mitra shell ( I was so pleased) and brittle starfish…

In the small streets behind the beach we had a little poke around and I discovered a whole load of new and slightly different doors. All from older built properties, I hesitiate to guess the era, my gut feel is early 90’s. Metal-work with embellishment, all in need of a good maintenance work-over, but I really like them. Especially the falcon designs, one of the six national symbols of the UAE.

This one is my favorite…

Linking with Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton. Pop on over, hit the blue frog link and check out some more doors today…

Weekly Photo Challenge, Peek…

On our travels, when I’m the passenger in the car, my camera is always ready on my lap, my head swivelling, checking out the surroundings, just in case there is a shot to be had.

On this occasion in October 2017, we were driving fairly slowly down the corniche at Khor Fakkan, UAE in the late afternoon. The corniche traffic is usually slow-moving at this time as families are heading to the cool, tree lined park bordering on the beach, often to picnic in the shade after another long, hot day of the middle eastern heat.

I saw a flash of colour in the sky through the foliage, peeked out of my window and just caught the para-gliders through the gap in the trees as we drove past.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Corner…

On our road travels, I take a lot of photos from the car, sometimes they work, but many times they fail, blur, motion, an unexpected head intruding into the shot and so on… but, on occasions, there are some I keep, just because I like the effect and maybe I can work on it in the future.

This was one I kept.

Racing through Al Ain, in the UAE, trying to get to the border on a Thursday night to beat the weekend visa queue on the Oman border, I snapped out of the car window as we hurtled into the city.

I think it’s a stadium and now I can use this shot for this challenge, we were cornering at high speed!



Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful…

There is something special about being out in the desert amidst the graceful sweep of the dunes, the fluid patterns of the sand and the differing delineations as the light changes during the day.

Shot in the sand dunes of the UAE, on the edge of the Empty Quarter, close to the Saudi Border…


Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine…

The Burj Khalifa, Dubai is currently the tallest building in the world.

Another such structure is forecast in this city of extremes to go higher, but it’s still in the planning stage.

Burj Khalifa dominates the Dubai skyline and just on occasions when the atmosphere is clearer and the sun is the right position and you have your camera in the car and get lucky going over a bridge or at a traffic light ( I have to add here  “as a passenger “in case you are thinking I’m snapping as I’m driving) you can just catch this massive Eye of Dubai shining over the city… I haven’t seen Frodo or Gollum here yet, but nothing would surprise me !




One Word Photo Challenge: Camel

Trawling through my Reader, I came across One Word Photo Challenge hosted by Jennifer Nichole Wells .

Intrigued I went off to look and well… given my location and the theme for this week being “Camel” and the fact that I take rather a lot of camel photos, I just had to join in….






One Word Photo Challenge: Camel

Thursday Doors 28/4/16:Al Hisn Fort, Sharjah….

Al Hisn fort in Sharjah , the home of the Al Qassimi ruling family of Sharjah since 1820, but nearly totally demolished in 1969, when the present ruler, who was abroad, managed to rush home to try to stop the demolition.The Fort was restored 20 years later with the original doors and windows saved from the demolished fort.  Continue reading

Monday Window: Blue Souk, Sharjah…

I found a plethora of windows at the Blue Souk, Sharjah, UAE on Saturday, so for once my post has more than one window! I think you will like them, the Islamic style of the Souk is eye-catching with the beautiful blue sky above, setting off the tiles and architecture perfectly.  Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Landscape

Landscapes in the Middle East are different, but have their own special beauty. Here are a few….



Day Nineteen: Double & Rotation, Part 2

Arriving home very late, after a late end of quarter night at work and losing my entire Photo program due to a massive crash, but having already posted  today’s assignment via my phone ( I was fairly proud of this achievement, WordPress on iPhone takes a bit of getting used to, but once on track it’s relatively simple, but it was a first!)  I managed to restore my photo program and can post my original double thought for this assignment….  Continue reading