Bee #2

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Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) was given its common name because the arrangement of its leaves is somewhat ladder-like. This is a beautiful clear summer sky blue with contrasting yellow anthers and loved by bees. A pretty, delicate perennial.


Bee #1

This week I am going to give you a week of bees. Or hoverflies. Though the bees have definitely outnumbered them this year. Planting bee friendly plants has drawn them into the garden, but the most bees I have seen on any one plant (Giant Scabious / Cephalaria gigantea ) was in Trelissick Gardens on Sunday. They were swarming with bees – three or four to a flower.

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Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) and a very fuzzy bee in my garden.

Hedge Woundwort is a tall, hairy perennial that grows in hedges, woods and on waste ground, where its tall spires of crimson-purple flowers stand out among the lushness of green growth of other plants. The flowers are arranged in whorls around the central stem. They are hooded, with the lower lip beautifully variegated with white against the crimson background. Bees love this plant and are frequent visitors.  I love how he clings on to the lower lip with his two-toed feet (yes really, take a look) and then buries his proboscis into the hood.

Five Minutes with a ‘White Ermine’ Moth

DesleyJane – a lovely arty scientist now living in Melbourne – is also a wonderful photographer and a huge macro fan. She has a new meme called “regularrandom for anyone to join in with which involves spending 5 minutes with the subject matter.

Choose a scene or an object and keep fixed on that object, and shoot for just five minutes.   You can move around the object or scene but try not to interfere with it. See what happens in that five minutes, what changes, how the light changes, what comes into the frame or leaves the frame, or what other parts of the object you can focus on or use to your advantage.

Found dead in my bedroom, this charming furry little moth looks as though he is wearing an ermine cloak. The name ‘White Ermine’ (Spilosoma lubricipeda) is most apt. I carried the little fellow to a lighter place where I could photograph him before taking him outside. Just look at those silken velvety wings with the fringed edges, that delightful furry head.

Do you think he used those comb-like antennae to brush his hair in the morning?  Amazing what details a macro lens can reveal.

Thanks to Ali at the Mindful Gardener for the ID of this moth. She also found a dead one this week and took photos of it. Please pop over to have a look as she turned her moth over and has views of the ‘undercarriage’.

All photos were taken using my Olympus OM-D E-10 camera and Macro 60mm lens.

If you would like to join in then please visit DJ’s site where you will find more information and ideas about the challenge.

Plant Portrait

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I often walk around my garden with my camera in one hand and secateurs in the other.  This little moth / butterfly was very busy swooping down on my hardy geraniums that I couldn’t get a clear shot. But I quite like the movement in this one and hope you do too.



Plant Portrait

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A common sight in the gardens or lanes at this time of year. And there is something so very delightful on seeing a bee disappear into a foxglove and hearing it buzzing around inside like a helicopter in a hangar. I try to plant bee and butterfly friendly flowers in my garden and even allow those wildflowers they can’t get enough of, like dead nettles and Meadowsweet.

Hearing them in the garden is such a pleasure: seeing them land on the delicate petals of the hardy geranium, causing it to swing and sway; flitting from one purple flower to another on the foxglove and the hedge woundwort with the pannier-bags on their thighs bulging with pollen.

Bees – one of the pleasures of summer.

NB: Bees go for flowers in blue, white, purple and yellow: Berberis, bluebell, bugle, flowering currant, lungwort, pussy willow, rosemary, dead-nettle, heathers, aquilegia, campanula, comfrey, everlasting pea, geranium, foxglove, honeysuckle, monkshood, stachys, thyme, cornflower, delphinium, fuchsia, lavender, rock-rose, scabious and sea holly.


Autumn blues: take a closer look

Common earwig (Forficula auricularia) peeking out from under the Echinops

The name earwig is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning “ear creature,” probably because of a widespread ancient superstition that earwigs crawl into the ears of sleeping people. The earwig has a pair of horny forceps-like tail filaments, or pincers, at the posterior end of the abdomen, with those of the male being larger and of a different shape than those of the female. I think this one is a male. I associate them with Dahlias (from my childhood) but I can also tell you they are very fond of the herb basil.

Daily Post Photo Challenge | Peek