Drop of Nectar - October 2016
This week my weekly photo journal kicks off with this little miracle of nature, as we see a single droplet of nectar forming on the stigma of a Peruvian Lily (Alstroemeria).
Dewdrop Infused - October 2016
Nectar droplets weren't the only droplets in evidence this weekend as I searched for photo opportunities in dad's garden. The cold Saturday night temperatures gave way to a very sunny Sunday, which warmed the cool air and led to the formation of dewdrops. These were pictured on the flower bud of a Pot Marigold (Calendula) bloom.
Elegant Ending - October 2016
The Roses (Rosa) were just about finished, and this will probably be the final one before winter sets in, as I couldn't see any new buds forming unfortunately.
Lasting Lonicera - October 2016
The Honeysuckle (Lonicera) has flowered on and off for most of the year, but this is the season this particular bush normally flowers.
Autumn Feverfew - October 2016
When I first encountered Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) in dad's garden, it was a spring flowering plant. However, like so many other flowers in recent years, it seems to come back with another flush of flowers in late summer to early autumn.
Lovely Lilies - October 2016
The River Lily (Hesperantha coccinea) is at least dependable in that it has always flowered in early autumn, although saying that, even this was a bit earlier than normal this year.
Hideaway - October 2016
Considering it was such a nice day, there didn't seem to be an awful lot of wildlife about when I was taking photos at the weekend. However, I found this Blackbird (Turdus merula) hiding away in some shrubs, and he let me get remarkably close in order to take his picture using my macro lens.
Collarless Dove - October 2016
Switching to my telephoto zoom lens, I spied a lone Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) sitting at the top of a tree. What I found unusual was that I couldn't make out the collar on the neck that gave her the name.
Flocking Ferals - October 2016
The only other birds I came across were these Feral Pigeons (Columba livia), and there were lots of them, frantically flying from place to place. I counted at least thirty of them. As the weather was getting colder, and food was becoming more difficult to find, they were taking advantage of any scraps that home owners had thrown out. I thought it was remarkable how they managed to fly around in huge flocks, yet never fly into each other.
Impact Avoidance - October 2016
Unlike these man made birds! I must admit that I was a bit anxious as I watched these two planes heading towards each other. They were obviously at different altitudes, but with the naked eye they didn't look to be too far apart.
Scaling the Floral Mountain - October 2016
With bird numbers at a low, I switched back to my macro lens, and went hunting for insects. Unfortunately, I didn't find many of them either. This small Bee (Apis) was one of a few attracted by the late flowering Buddleia bush.
Picking at Pollen - October 2016
While this big Bumblebee (Bomba) was enjoying collecting pollen from the small Lacecap Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) blooms.
On Fire - October 2016
Probably the reason for the lack of insect activity was that it was definitely turning into autumn, and it had been a very cold night by recent standards. There were plenty of signs of autumn, like the Forest Flame (Pieris) bush leaves turning red...
Ready to Fly - October 2016
...and the Great Willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum) seed heads forming...
On the Turn - October 2016
...and the Japanese Maple leaves turning from green to yellow to golden brown...
Hello Holly - October 2016
...and the new glossy Holly (Ilex) bush leaves starting to form...
Pod Preview - October 2016
...and numerous plants sporting seed pods, like this Crocosmia. I later collected these seeds and will attempt to grown them for next year.
Hanging in There - October 2016
There were also signs of autumn in the greenhouse, with quite a few of the remaining tomatoes refusing to ripen. Hopefully just a few more warm sunny days will help them progress.
African Daisy - October 2016
Over in my garden, things were also winding down. I'd already emptied quite a few of my pots of annuals, in readiness for refilling with spring bulbs. However, I still had a few African Daisies (Osteospermum) in flower...
Glorie - October 2016
...and my Dahlia 'Noordwijks Glorie' was still producing flowers...
Californian Poppy - October 2016
...while I was quite surprised to see my Californian Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) make an appearance this late in the year...
Sweet Pink Pea - October 2016
...and my Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) plants still had a few remaining blooms.
Smile Please - October 2016
Meanwhile, I was trying to train my furry photo companion to smile for the camera! How do you think he did?
So, this week I chose Drop of Nectar as my Image of the Week, mainly because it was something I find amazing in nature, although I was tempted to choose Impact Avoidance as it shows something you simply don't see every day...