Tag Archives: bee

Some Pictures from Last Week

These are just a few photographs from our trip to Sherwood Forest last week – I’ve just got round to sorting them out. It’s amazing what you can see if you wait around for ten minutes on a roadside verge. Quite a lot of them were blurred, or featured the space where something interesting used to be. The bees were quite frisky in the sun, as were the Ringlet butterflies. I didn’t even manage to frame a Ringlet. They are always tricky to photograph, but I can usually get something, even if it is blurred.

Flowers are easier because they don’t move as much. Fortunately there wasn’t much of a breeze.

They aren’t the the most inspiring pictures, but they are a start. We couldn’t go to Clumber Park because you have to book now, and we couldn’t go to Arnot Hill Park because the car park always seems so full.

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A very light grasshopper

I’m not sure what sort of grasshopper it is, probably a common one with funny lighting rather than a pale one. I suppose a light one would soon be eaten. It really was at that angle when I took the photo, but was down near my feet and I didn’t really frame the shot properly. I would try to turn the photo round to make it look more normal, but I can’t get the rotate button to work.

When we arrived home I noticed we had a couple of grasshoppers amongst the weeds in the front garden, but they had gone before I could get the camera.

All that travel, and I could just have stayed at home. There’s a moral in there somewhere.

 

 

 

Time to Stand and Stare

I’m going to post about the garden to start with. It’s a nice calm place to start.

We bought sausage baguettes from the Co-op on Wilford Lane and ate them as we watched the geese fly over on their daily trip to the river. It’s an extravagance but it’s nice to eat out once in a while, and it’s hardly Babylonian in its excess.

There was a robin, a crow, a few pigeons, some magpies and a flight of about a dozen long-tailed tits. You’s think I’d manage some decent photos but I had the small camera and it was set for close-ups. By the time I’d adjusted it I normally found I was zooming in on an empty branch.

The flowers were less flighty and I even got a couple of wildlife shots, though bees and caterpillars aren’t the hardest of subjects.

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Caterpillar and flower. My flimsy knowledge of plants and wildlife is revealed for all to see.

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Safer ground here – it’s a bee and a nasturtium

Imagine my mind like an over-full bookcase. As you force a volume of coin knowledge in at one end a book of insect knowledge falls off the other end.

Eventually the Council House clock struck nine and I had to leave for work. I may cover the events of the day later – breaking a grandmother’s heart, talking to a lunatic and cynically laying a trap for a potential young collector.

Those, of course, are just the highlights.

Runner Beans - guess what's for tea

Runner Beans – guess what’s for tea

In Victorian times they were grown for their decorative flowers rather than the beans. You have to wonder who first decided to taste them.

More from Yesterday

First stop of the day was in the garden with Julia.  A Robin was singing its heart out, Goldfinches were flitting round the treetops, two Cormorants flew over and a Green Woodpecker was yaffling in the trees. (Later, the woodpecker would visit the garden and perch on top of the large polytunnel.)

It was too cool for insects, but we had a window to mend and various other things to do. The glass for the window is going to cost £24. We’d spend that if we had a meal while we were out, but when it has to come from fund-raising, and when you consider it was broken by the worst burglar in the world, it is extremely irksome.

I did manage to get a dragonfly picture.

At the end of the day, when I returned from Men in Sheds with the pieces of 16 nest boxes, there were a few more insects about, including a massive bee and a strange fly. The quality of photography was not good and I didn’t get much worth showing. The newly painted door has a frame now, and the planters have become white. The blue stripes are lengths of fabric from discarded blinds (skip-diving again) – it’s probably not a long-term solution but it saves paint.

Have to get Julia to work now, will add ID notes later.

The dragonfly is a Common Darter.

The fly is some species of the sarcopaga family – flesh flies. You have to examine the genitalia closely to tell what exact species it is and, frankly, I don’t care enough to do that.

The bumblebee was massive. In pre-metric measurements it’s about the size of the end of my thumb. I could see it from 20 yards away. It’s probably a queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee.

Boiling a frog

We had a power cut yesterday, starting just after lunch and lasting until we went home. At times like that you realise all your work is on computer, and when the wireless connection goes off everything grinds to a halt.

Julia had just started a meeting about The Grant (it is taking over my life to such an extent that I now think of it with capital letter) when everything went dark. Fortunately she had her laptop and a fully charged battery so she was able to carry on.

I filled my time usefully by reading the paper outside on the decking and by taking photographs. That’s when I found another problem with having no computer – I had nothing to view the photos on. It’s so much easier using the computer screen for viewing; the small screen on the camera just isn’t good enough.

When, I asked myself, did I become computerised to the extent that I can’t function without electricity?

And when did I start referring to the  verandah as “decking”?

That’s how it is with change (as exemplified by the tale of the Boiling Frog) – it just creeps up on you without you noticing it.

 

 

Copycat Selfie with Pollinator

I said I was thinking seriously about the quality of my blog so here it is – number 201 features a selfie of me with a bee as a result of reading Jeff Ollerton’s Biodiversity Blog – Selfie with Pollinator.

So here it is, my chance to rub shoulders with a real academic and compete with him on equal terms (probably better than even, as I suspect I have more experience of buffoonery).

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I promise you, it was a bee as big as a terrier!

I confess it’s not as easy as it looks, as I generally have enough trouble getting one thing photographed properly. I’m working on getting more flare to the nostrils next time, and working on my beard to avoid the appearance of a man eating a door mat.

I couldn’t get a decent picture of the bee because the stalks of lavender affect the autofocus (which is also how I ended up with eight pictures of a grass stalk with a blurred Gatekeeper in the background.yesterday. It was dark, about the size of a Jack Russell and had reddish hindquarters.