First Damselfly - April 2017
It has been a funny old week in terms of the weather since my last Image of the Week article. We've had pretty much all types in the South of England, from hard frost, hail, sleet, gale force winds and rain, then, blue cloudless skies, bright sunshine and rising temperatures.
It may surprise you to learn that this immature Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), my first damselfly spot of the year, was photographed on one of the frostier mornings!
Cherry Tree Picking - April 2017
In fact the cold didn't seem to have stopped any of the range of insects going about their daily tasks, it had only slowed them down a bit - making them a bit easier to catch! This little Honey Bee (Apis) was very obliging as I took a number of shots while he rested on some Cherry Tree (Prunus) blossom in dad's garden.
Honeysuckle Heaven - April 2017
Indeed, the Bumblebees (Bombus) were also out, with this large specimen giving the Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) his undivided attention.
Dandy Visitor - April 2017
The Dandelions (Taraxacum) seemed to be covered in these tiny black Flies (Diptera) as they searched for pollen...
Fly Friends - April 2017
...while others preferred to warm up by sitting on a leaf in a sunny spot...
Leaf Bound - April 2017
...like this Flesh Fly (Sarcophaga carnaria).
Cotoneaster Blossom - April 2017
I couldn't resist taking another shot of this Cotoneaster bush blossom, and it too was buzzing with Honey Bees. Unfortunately they were all so active I failed to get any decent pictures! I'll try again next week though.
While I'm on the subject of photographing insects, you may be interested to read my tutorial. Entitled Insect Safari, it explains the equipment and techniques I use to locate and photograph insects. Why not click on the link to check it out?
Red Robin Outburst - April 2017
The Red Robin (Photinia fraseri) bush flower buds had finally opened, and had produced a mass of this lovely white blossom, which looked great en masse...
Singled Out - April 2017
...and even better when zoomed in on.
Aquilegia Coming Soon - April 2017
I'd have put money on the Granny's Bonnet (Aquilegia) being in flower this week, but the flowers were still hiding in their bonnets.
Pretty Pulmonaria - April 2017
I was surprised to see that the Lungwort (Pulmonaria) was flowering, as it usually blooms in the very early spring, and has already flowered once this year. I guess the cold snap has tricked it into flowering again.
Budding Rhododendron - April 2017
The Rhododendron bush, which has had flower buds since before November last year, has finally decided that it is time to open. You may think that there are going to be a mass of beautiful deep red flowers on the way? Well, you'd be wrong, the flowers are in fact bright pink! Watch this space.
Herb Robert - April 2017
One of my favourite flowers at this time of the year is actually classed as a weed by many. This pretty little pink thing is Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum). Don't you think it looks simply beautiful?
Bright Buttercup - April 2017
Another weed that looks lovely at the moment is the Buttercup (Ranunculus). As you know, I like to leave any and all flowers at this time of year as they are a valuable source of nourishment for our insect population.
Pretty Weedy - April 2017
Sticking with the weed theme, I have no idea what this is, but I have a hunch it's a weed, as I don't remember planting, or seeing anything like it before. However, it will be left until it goes to seed, just to help out our insect buddies.
Losing Time - April 2017
Unfortunately, I was too late to do anything about this Dandelion going to seed. I usually get them all pulled up before this happens. At least they served a purpose by making a pretty picture though.
Clematis Montana - May 2017
Over in my garden, I was in a bit of a transition stage, with spring flowers just on their way out, and summer flowers not quite ready. This Clematis Montana was one of the few things I was hoping would bridge the gap.
Budding Delphinium - May 2017
I had a very early Delphinium trying its best to help the colour continue in the garden, and it was my favourite coloured one from last year.
Possible Sensation - May 2017
It wouldn't be too long before the Allium 'Purple Sensation' were with us either.
Tulip Angelique - May 2017
The Tulips (Tulipa) have been fabulous this year, and this late flowering variety 'Angelique' was still churning out the flowers.
Lilac Wonder - May 2017
This Dwarf variety Tulip saxatilis 'Lilac Wonder' was also still in bloom.
Opened Wedding Gift - May 2017
Probably my favourite Tulip of all this year has been this 'Wedding Gift' variety, which were now the size of dinner plates, and had opened right up...
Behind The Scenes - May 2017
...and they looked as impressive from the back as they did from the front!
Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi - April 2017
Meanwhile, indoors, my aquarium project was coming along, although not without its trials and tribulations. I originally had two of these very pretty Electric Blue Rams (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi), however, after getting on famously for over a month, he turned on his tank mate, and now he rules the tank. So much for supposedly being a peaceful community fish...
Corydoras Sterbai - April 2017
Having posted pictures of my photogenic feline friend every week for over a year, now that he's no longer with us, I thought it would be fitting to post a picture of a photogenic finned friend! This is one of my Corydoras catfish, a Corydoras sterbai. Not quite as cute as my furry companion, and a whole lot wetter, but cute nonetheless!
Finally, I thought you might like to see some of my wet friends in action! The video below shows my group of Bronze Corydoras (Corydoras aeneus) catfish, and school of Rummy-nose Tetra (Hemigrammus rhodostomus) enjoying a feeding frenzy on a single sinking algae wafer...
So, this week I decided to make First Damselfly my Image of the Week, simply because I love photographing insects, and this one was my first Damsel of the year...