Pollen Collecting

2nd May 2019

Pollen Collecting - April 2019

After a glorious week of weather since the Easter weekend, my photo shoot in dad's garden this week took place on a bit of a dull grey and windy Sunday morning.

However, it was still reasonably warm, and the warmth had encouraged quite a few insects to come out and explore the various springtime blooms. This Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) was keen to access the pollen from the newly opened Cotoneaster bush blossom...

Holly Leaf Explorer - April 2019

...while this one was happy to explore a nearby Holly (Ilex) bush leaf.

Weird Fly - April 2019

Next I encountered a weird looking Fly that I had to look up to find out what it was! It turned out to be a type of parasitic Fly that lives in the Myopa genus. Although I don't know the exact species, the most common species seen in the UK is Myopa testacea, more commonly known as the Plain-winged Spring Beegrabber! This is because the female will intercept a Bee mid-flight, lay her eggs, and depart. When the eggs hatch, the larvae will feed on the Bee. Not nice for the Bee.

Bluebottle - April 2019

Next up was a more conventional looking Fly, this time a Bluebottle (Calliphora vomitoria), which has a rather charming scientific name, don't you think?

Tiny Spider - April 2019

I didn't spot this tiny Spider at first, and even when I had it in my sights, it was rather difficult to focus on with the branches of the Mahonia (Mahonia japonica) bush waving around quite violently in the wind. It's a Crab Spider (Misumena vatia), and is probably laying in wait for an unsuspecting fly to come along and feed from the juices of the berries. It will then pounce on its victim, and enjoy a long lunch!

Red Robin Blossom - April 2019

Okay, so I've bombarded you with quite a bit of disgusting information up until now, it must be time for some pretties. The Red Robin (Photinia fraseri) bush flower buds were finally beginning to open, and there were quite a few of these pretty white blooms covering the bush.

Geranium Macrorrhizum - April 2019

It seemed quite early in the year, but the recent heatwave had obviously had an effect on the Geranium macrorrhizum plants which were now slowly waking up.

Bright Pansy - April 2019

The dark purple Pansies (Viola tricolor) from last week had now been joined by these much brighter, and cheerier looking yellow ones. Something was enjoying taking a few bites from them though, as every single flower had a few holes in them.

Honeysuckle - April 2019

The Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica,) bush was looking quite lovely, with lots and lots of this pretty white blossom. Unfortunately, the blossom didn't last long, as even a small breeze seemed to dislodge all but the newest of blooms.

Felicia - April 2019

The Blue Marguerite (Felicia amelloides) blooms were finally doing well in dad's garden. This was the first year they'd flowered since being planted over three years ago.

Queen of the Night - April 2019

The Tulip (Tulipa) 'Queen of the Night' blooms had finally opened, but continued to frustrate. In my eyes, they were far too tall, had far too small flowers, and were nowhere near dark enough.

Oxeye Daisy Bud - April 2019

Looking around for more blooms to photograph I came across lots of these Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) flower buds. Hopefully it wouldn't be long before they would open, as they're a great source of pollen for all of my bug buddies.

Heron - April 2019

Finally, as I was shooting the Red Robin blossom above, I got the shock of my life as this Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) flew by at only a few feet above my head. You could actually hear the noise it made when it flapped its wings! Of course, it landed in the most awkward of places to take a photograph, and I realise that it's not the best shot in the world, but I thought I'd include it as they don't often get this close. Just wish I'd had a longer lens attached to the camera when it landed.

So this week I went with Pollen Collecting as my Image of the Week as I liked how the Honey Bee was appearing from behind the Cotoneaster bush flower...