bugs and plants

Some readers have noticed that I haven’t been quite as constant, nor, perhaps, as committed to the blog over the last few weeks; I’ll admit that there have been things going on that have distracted me, but hope these are now mostly settling down and I will be able to re-focus.

It might seem likely that not posting as often would mean that when I did eventually sit down to write I’d be brimming with ideas.
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wings and things

I’ve said before that I’m not fond of birds, but they are a recurring theme of my poetry. I don’t, however, have many photos of birds as they so seldom stay still long enough to capture on film. (Hmm… I don’t suppose we capture anything on film anymore if we use digital cameras, so maybe that phrase must be considered an inelegant variation.)

I do a little better with photos of bugs and insects as they often seem less bothered by the approach of a camera lens and will sometimes sit still for hours on the same flower head.
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kiss-me-quick

When I first posted the photo above last autumn, I simply called it “pink flowers” as I didn’t know what the plant was.

Today, though, I put some in a vase for my mother along with foxgloves and other flowers from her garden and she told me it was red valerian or kiss-me-quick.
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things with wings

There was a beautiful blue sky earlier today, the kind that makes you wish you could just reach up and take flight, to soar with the white-winged gulls.

I’ve said before that I’m no good at taking pictures of birds, but I did manage to take pictures of some other things with wings in the wild park near where I live.
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last of the summer

It’s September already and although we’ve had a fair bit of sunshine this week, there begins to be a decidedly autumnal hint in the air. This morning, though, before the rain started, I was surprised to come across this glorious reminder that it really is still summer: not just a golden sunflower, but a – fairly well-camouflaged – bee.

Since I took the picture a few hours ago, the wind has got up and the rain has come in earnest, but I am safe and warm indoors so I’m not really complaining. Despite the temptation, then, I didn’t feel I could justify calling this post “last of the summer whine”.

fancy pants

Looking through recent photos, it occurs to me that when I take pictures of bees they almost invariably end up as rear views.

white-bottomed bumble  bee on teasel
This doesn’t seem to make much sense: surely it’s unwise to creep up on a creature whose defence mechanism is probably automatic and very much located in its rear end.
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aspirations

rosebay willow herb flower spike

For no particular reason, the rosebay willow herb is one of my favourite summer flowers. The name is one I remember learning as a child, along with so many other pink and purple blooms: meadow crane’s-bill, mallow, cosmos, buddleia…

I haven’t spent much time in the UK over the last 20 years and I am struck now by the willow herb spires lining the river banks and towering above the long grasses in the fields and meadows.

There seems to be something very aspirational – and inspirational – about how they point to the blue sky: I get the impression they are telling me there is no limit to the possibilities.

A closer look reveals a host of insects busy among the flowers: a reminder that without hard work ambition may count for nothing.

Close up of honey bee on rosebay willow herb flower.