Climbing Hydrangea Bract

26th May 2022

Climbing Hydrangea Bract - May 2022

It was a bit of an odd day weatherwise for my photo shoot in dad's garden this week, with bright sunshine giving way to dark periods as very heavy rain clouds intermittently appeared overhead.

The ever changing light conditions played havoc with my trying to shoot with the camera completely in manual mode, as the shutter speed and aperture settings always seemed at odds with the ISO I'd selected. This made for some very speedy adjustments after almost every shot as I needed to choose different values after reviewing the initial image in the camera viewfinder.

Despite being busy with camera setting changes, I was quite pleased with this image of a Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala) bush bract, which was one of the first to be showing.

Tutsan Bush Bloom - May 2022

Last week I posted an image of the Tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum) bush with its developing flower buds, and mentioned that they'd probably have opened by this week, and indeed some of them had.

Common Honeysuckle - May 2022

There were other new blooms in the garden this week, chief of which were those of the Common Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) bushes that were dotted around the garden.

California Lilac - May 2022

The California Lilac (Ceanothus) bush had begun to put on a lovely display, and the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) population had already found the flowers.

Oxeye Arrival - May 2022

The Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) buds were just on the cusp of opening, but I couldn't find any that were further along than this one.

Budding Lacecap - May 2022

It wouldn't be long before the Lacecap Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) bushes were in full swing, with many of the bushes in the garden having already developed clusters of flower buds.

Micro Moth - May 2022

I thought that the little yellow beak of this Micro Moth was quite distinctive, and was sure I hadn't seen one before. I have it on good authority that it's called a Yellow-faced Bell (Notocelia cynosbatella) moth, and even though I've not encountered one before, they're apparently quite commonplace.

Geranium Macrorrhizum - May 2022

The Geranium macrorrhizum blooms had returned for another season, although they seemed to be plagued by Greenfly (Myzus persicae). There's one sitting on one of the flower stamen at the bottom of the picture if you look closely.

Cuckooflower - May 2022

The Cuckooflowers (Cardamine pratensis) were also attracting Greenfly, with a little group of them sitting on the flower buds in the centre of the cluster of open flowers.

Aphid Farm - May 2022

Meanwhile, over on some of the stems of the Oxeye Daisies, the Black Garden Ants (Lasius niger) were herding a small number Aphids. The Aphids feed on the sap from the stem of the plant and secrete a substance called Honeydew. Honeydew is very rich in sugar, and is a food source favoured by the Ants. The Ants don't harm the Aphids, in fact in return for the food, the Ants protect them from predation, making it quite a fruitful symbiotic relationship.

A Final Few - May 2022

Finally, the Mahonia (Mahonia japonica) bush berries were completely ripe, although only a handful remained.

So this week I went with Climbing Hydrangea Bract as my Image of the Week simply because it was one of the better pictures I managed to grab with my camera set in full manual mode...