Bee in the Garden, West Sussex

Bumble Bee, West Sussex – August 2021

Bees are harder to photograph than you might think (I’ve written that before – I know). Perhaps informed by Disney and their slightly chubby appearance, I tended to think of them as rather leisurely, but as I tried to follow their movements, I came to realise how purposeful they are: every movement they make is for gathering nectar or moving on to the next flower. They are tireless. And they work without anyone directing them, although I know they do an intricate dance back at the hive to tell other bees where there is nectar.

I don’t think I would be a good bee, but I admire them.

Petal, San Salvador

Petal, San Salvador, El Salvador – September 2006

As I remember it, I took this photo not long after I arrived in El Salvador.

In the “wet” season, it rains every afternoon – usually at about 4pm. Usually, being the operative word, because sometimes – like when you have work to do or places to go – it comes down early. The rain clouds seem to roll down from above San Salvador (a big volcano as well as the capitol of the country) and then you can see everyone speed up what they are doing so that they can be indoors when the rain falls: workmen pack their tools, livestock get undercover and old women move with remarkable pace, all glancing over their shoulders at the volcano as they go.

I have lost count the number of times I got soaked, sometimes I ended up buying a new shirt when I got to destination, but everytime, I got wet to the point where water would stream off me when I got undercover.

But, soon after the “dry” season begins in November, you find yourself missing the rain. The lush, green landscape slowly goes yellow and everything gets a layer of dust on it. Until March, when it starts all over again!

I took this with my Minolta X1, which was hopeless for anything that moved, but here, that wasn’t a problem!

Cat’s Eyes, Bath

Cat, Bath – October 2016

I used to see this cat almost every day on my way to work. I used to walk along the Kennet and Avon Canal into Bath (where I worked) – and this cat lived on one of the houseboats. I believe the same owner had a beautiful dog too.

Cat’s Eye, Bath – October 2016

I’m not one to pester cats I don’t know – but one day, she slowly trotted off the boat and came to say “Hello”. I think she has beautiful eyes.

My Father’s Hen, Bath

Hen, Bath, NE Somerset – April 2021

My father is an unwilling birdkeeper. Someone in the village found they had a flock of chicks which they didn’t want, so he took them on. At the moment, because of the weather, they are laying one egg each day, which he usually shares with his neighbours.

Hen, Bath, NE Somerset – April 2021

I believe this is a Campine hen – a breed which originates from Belgium. I’m quite pleased with my photo of it, but in the flesh, the black and white plumage is very striking. I know this particular hen is the most assertive in the flock, being quick to peck the dogs if they come to close!

Hen, Bath, NE Somerset 2021

Origami Cranes, My Desk

Origami Crane, My Desk Marh 2021

Just a short post. Is there something which you’ve always wanted to learn, which you have never got around to?

Three Paper Cranes, My Desk March 2021

My list is quite long, countless languages, limitless skills and I have always wanted to be able to make paper cranes. For years and years. Perhaps inspired by “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes”. So I looked it up online – and I made some paper cranes! One item off the list!

Inka, Somerset

Inka, nr. Bath, Somerset August 2020

They say, “Don’t work with animals or children”. But as you can see, some animals make good subjects. I like that he has given me good eye contact – I think I did something to get his attention (shameless preformer that I am). People make all sorts of claims for their portraits, but I think I have shown what Inka is like at least some of the time. I think I will use this as an illustration for a lens review I am working on for my YouTube channel: It is sharp and can help achieve a narrow depth of focus by his face.

Feather, West Sussex

Feather, West Sussex August 2020

After what has felt like age, it has finally rained. In the UK we have had several weeks of hot weather, so this has felt very welcome.

I found this feather on some park land I like to walk on every morning – I’m trying to decide what sort of bird it came from – probably a seagull. It is amazing to see how oils on the feather repel the water, so that it forms little spheres (which act like mini-magnifiers). One of the beauties of the natural world, is how the closer you look, the more you can see.

Lavender, West Sussex

Lavender Seedling, West Sussex August 2020

Writing this, in early August 2020, I hope things are well with you.

How are you spending lockdown?

For my part, I’m so be getting into different routines – here I was just about to water some lavender seedlings – when I thought I would take a quick photo. For some reason, i thought that lavender would be easy to grow, but I’m finding them to be very slow! Lots of learning when you try something new!

Like most of my photos these days, I’m using my phone, I find if I turn it upsidedown, I can get quite close and gives a pleasing almost worm’s eye view of things.

Raindrops, West Sussex

Raindrops on Leaf, West Sussex June 2020

After what seems like weeks of sunshine, finally thick, grey clouds appeared and heavy rain fell. Went outside for a while to enjoy the cool breeze and splashes of rain. One of the positive things about the lockdown has been more time to enjoy my garden. What I liked here, where the little spheres of water formed in the middle of the leaf, which glistened in the light. The original was a colour picture full of vibrant greens, but I prefer this version in back and white.

Bee, West Sussex

Bee with Pollen Baskets, West Sussex – June 2020

Another go at bee photography. I think this is another species of bee to my previous photographs, note the bright yellow pollen baskets on its rear legs! I don’t know how your lockdown is going, but I seem to spend far more time in the garden now, than I ever have in the past. And like anywhere, where you spend time, the longer you are there, the more you notice. The other thing is, I suppose, that we are now in Summer.

I took this photo with my iPhone – it is cropped a little, but I can still see some texture on the bee (its eyes look particularly smooth and glossy).