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Archive for the ‘Bees’ Category

I’m back – more than two weeks since the last post……..

Thank you to those who have continued to visit and leave comments, despite a dearth of new postings, and those who emailed to see if I was OK.  Your loyalty and concerns are very much appreciated.  I have actually enjoyed the break, but if I leave it any longer it will become more and more difficult to get going again.

During this time, there has been little stitching of note, but despite having house guests, several trips to Melbourne, and various other essential activities, I have still been able to get out in the garden with the camera, and these are a few recent macro shots.  As the weather is warming up there are wonderful flowers to photograph as well as the bees and other bugs they attract.

The centre of a large flowering Clematis

Love-in-a-mist or Nigella are wonderful annuals that self seed very easily, and I find them very photogenic with their fine green leaves, fluffy blue petals and exotic centres.
However, I’m still trying to take the perfect photo of their lovely flowers…

Sadly I no longer keep bees, they were never able to make enough honey to last them through the winter, and the weather here was too cold and wet through winter for the hive to survive. One can feed them with sugar syrup to supplement what they can forage for themselves, but it seems most local apiarists move their hives to kinder climates for winter.  There are many bees around now, they seem to love blue flowers and this lavender is one of their favourites.

It’s Fly season again….I hate them but love to be able to see the detail of a close up photo.

My Entomologist daughter has this female Praying Mantis living in a jar in her kitchen, it is still quite young and cannot yet fly.  About an inch long, her name is Consuela, she is lives on flies that are caught for her and will be released when she has wings and needs to go free…..

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This frog is the Southern Brown Tree Frog – Litoria ewingii

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The last few days have been warmer and sunny, so I am finding it very difficult to focus on the things that need my attention, and instead have been out with the camera again.  I’m sure you are getting fed up with the lack of stitch and textile related posts…..but here goes with the best of today’s images.

And the best for last…….

 

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Busy Bees

Went out for a wander in the garden today between the rain,  surprisingly the bees were out and about too – they don’t like rain, but were busy collecting pollen from the Sedum plants which must be at just the right stage.

I’m thinking of featuring bees in the piece I’m planning for the Guild Exhibition at Kosminsky in September, so these will be useful references.  The piece will not be pink though!

They had some competition …..

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One man went to mow……

Last night and today have been a whole lot cooler, so the dogs and I are a lot more comfortable – I do not have air-conditioning and prolonged heat is so exhausting, but one feels like dooing nothing at all.  During this heat wave I was reminded of my first summer in Australia when I was a teenager, in Adelaide.  I did not cope at all well with the high temperatures, and could not believe that it could be so hot, for so long.  I recall berating my parents for bringing me to this country, and for leaving the gentler climate in England.  I still hate the heat, it is one of the reasons I live where I do, in an area known locally as ‘the cool country”.  Roll on Autumn, my favourite season!

I spent a few hours mowing my property this afternoon, something I enjoy – it can be an almost meditative process as one follows the line made by the mower, and a good time to think and plan.  The result is always looks spectacular, and I love the lines left on the grass when it is all finished – just like quilting a big green quilt.  Yes, this area is still mostly green although it will not stay that way all summer.

While mowing a section I do not regularly visit, I spotted these beasties at the bottom of a small Eucalypt, and went back later to take this photo.  They are Brown Sawfly larvae which feed on the tree’s leaves, but hide together in a heap for protection at night.  They were about an inch or so long, and did not like the camera lens being so close as they were waving their tails in the air at a great rate to frighten me away.  Sawflies are not butterflies or moths, but are related to wasps and ants.

Of course, while I had the camera out, I went looking for some other shots, and this is another of my girls, this time on the flower of a blue Allium.

As you can tell, there is not a lot of stitching going on around here, but I hope to rectify that soon, and will show what I am going to be doing.

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Sunday

Another scorching day  – a forecast of 40 degrees celsius ( 104 degrees farenheit) for this area, but more more in Melbourne and even higher in the North of this state.  Tomorrow will be worse, with hot North winds and increased bushfire danger.  Here it cools down overnight, so at least one can sleep, and during the day if the house is shut up early, inside remains much cooler.  It is already far too hot to do anything outside, windows and curtains are closed, fans going and I’m planning as quiet a day as possible!

I was out in the cool morning light to take some photos…….most bees and bugs.

Echinacea purpurea -Coneflower

I think this is called a Soldier Beetle

This little spider was so tiny, I did not notice it at first

One of my girls on the flower stalk of Stachys byzantina or Lamb’s Ear

This is a female worker bee, getting towards the end of her life – note the tattered wings.

A sad way to end……..

Anenome japonica – Japanese windflower

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Lavender Blue

My hedge of English Lavender (lavendula angustifolia) is in full bloom, it smells fantastic and is quite spectacular.  It is covered with butterflies and bees so hopefully this means my bees are now making heaps of honey for harvesting in a month or two.

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