"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Bumbles in the Garden

Lavender flowers in the garden in the afternoon sun were humming with bumblebees today.

I still haven't managed to justify robbing the piggy bank for a macro lens so I decided to have a go at some photos using the 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens (handheld and no IS) on the Olympus E-420 DSLR. The photos aren't very sharp but I will persevere and have a few more attempts next week perhaps using a tripod.

My bee id skills are at about the same level as my moth id skills (!) and I particularly find it hard to differentiate between Garden, Buff-tailed and White-tailed but I think the first few photos are of a Buff-tailed bumblebee.

I love the wings in this first photo - looking like colourless stained glass

There were several Common Carder Bees

I checked the St Johns Wort flowers so beloved by the Red-tailed bumblebee but most of the flowers are now past their best and there were only a few common carder bees around.

Bumble bees have a lot of great country names - according to "Bugs Britannica" by Peter Marren and Richard Mabey alternative names include: bumbard, bummie-bee, dumbledore, dusty miller, gairy bee, hummobee, sunny sodger and red arsie. What super names!

A tame (juvenile?) dunnock was busy collecting food from under the feeding station as I was trying to take bee photos.


Pete said...

love that first pic

Ragged Robin said...

Thanks Pete. I was quite pleased with that one and is the reason why I shall persevere and try and take some more photos :D

Rob said...

Lavender and bees - a wonderful combination. Those country names for bumblebees are fun. Does this mean Professor Albus Dumbledore (in Harry Potter) was named after a (white-tailed?) bumblebee?

Ragged Robin said...

Thanks Rob.

I've just rechecked the Bugs Britannica book Rob about country names (I think Dumbledore is country name for any bumble bee :D) and the book suggests that bumble bees were amongst the familiars for witches and therefore may have given JK Rowling the name of her wizard! Its a great name for a wizard and a bee!

Looking forward to seeing the final film.

Ian said...

Nice photos of the bees and lavender, well done with the tele lens.

Ragged Robin said...

Thanks Ian - glad you liked the photos.