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.
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…
Each morning the newly opened poppy flowers buzz with an ecstasy of happy bees and, weather permitting, I attempt to photograph them. Although the bees seem to be entirely focused on their frenzied gathering, some kind of bee radar tells them if I move the camera a millimeter too close and they whir away.
This is my best shot so far, but it feels a bit flat and doesn’t really convey the busy “must get the harvest in as quickly as possible” feeling I sense as I watch the foragers at work. Still, while the poppies keep flowering and the bees keep visiting, I expect I’ll keep trying to get a better image.