When I nipped out to pick the beans for tea I found this magnificent creature resting on the strawberry cage. Google tells me it’s a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria).
Kittens from next door survey my garden with curiosity and caution. Pol tolerates them up to a point, but every so often there’s an outbreak of hissing, arched backs and bottlebrush tails before the kitties beat a retreat. I hope they manage to sort out the neighbourhood feline hierarchy without inflicting any wounds that require expensive trips to the vet.
I went out to try to photograph the gorgeous gingery stamens on some newly-flowering poppies on Saturday and was entranced by the tiny bees foraging on them. I thought they were hoverflies at first, but their behaviour was far more bee-like.
Tying to measure a very small moving creature isn’t easy, but they are about 7-8mm long. The poppy seed head was about 9mm across the top. To compare the scale have a look at my picture of a fairly small bumble bee completely obscuring the seed head of one of the black-stamened poppies.
If anyone can identify the little creatures for me (and confirm my assumption that they are indeed bees), I’d be pleased to learn more about them.
Spotting this gorgeous eyed hawk moth hidden among the runner beans leaves in my garden this afternoon made my day. It was a bit tricky shooting with one hand while holding the leaf upside down with the other, but I had to give it a try. The image records the moment rather than the beauty of the creature. To imprint it in my memory I keep popping out to have another long look at it.
Yesterday my neighbour told me that the hydrangea bush which adorns one corner of my front garden was there when she and her husband moved into their house 52 years ago. I think that deserves a celebratory portrait.
I call it a white hydrangea, but the young flowers are bright lime green, opening to dazzling whiteness and changing in late summer to dusty green and pink. Or pink and green, depending on the weather. In a good season the coloured mop heads are huge and dry well for winter decorations.
This year, I think the rain will probably spoil the flowers somewhat. But there will be more next year and every year until, after I’m gone, someone decides to destroy the garden to make car-parking spaces. I must take cuttings sometime…