Monday, 24 August 2009

Bits and Bobs

Just a few bits and pieces today. Yesterday I took the old Canon with me as it is lighter to use one handed whilst hanging on to Bobby's lead with the other. It was hot and Sunny with a gusty wind. In the end I came back with one photo worth looking at. All the birds were sheltering from the heat and the butterflies and dragonflies were being blown all over the place except for one little blue job which did pose for a short while.

I am fairly sure it is a female Holly Blue resting on a nettle leaf.

Blue Butterfly

Back home a spider was embalming a hoverfly with their reflections showing in the double glazing.


The Sunflower seeds I planted some time ago have finally reached flowering size. These turned out to be a small variety with stems about 3 feet high and flowers about 3 inches across.

Small Sunflower

The first large Sunflower to flower has now produced seed some of which have already vanished. Whether a bird or a mouse has helped itself I know not. I had hoped to be able to film or photo whatever fancied free Sunflower seeds but as fate would have it the darned thing faced North, away from the kitchen window, once it had been pollinated. In fact this one never did follow the Sun across the sky.


In the front garden I have two Hibiscus bushes. One is a mass of flowers and buds. The other is a wizened stick about nine inches high. I have never managed to work out why one grew well and the other failed. Both were planted at the same time and they are in the same area of the garden.

Hibiscus by night. As well as attracting some butterflies and many bumble bees by day it attracts moths by night.

Hibiscus Bush

Hibiscus Flower

At the edge of the pond is a lovely pink flower belonging to one of the marginal plants. A Schizostylis coccinea cultivar.

Pink Flower

Today I had put out a small pile of black Sunflower seeds and it didn't take long for two Coal Tits to start collecting them. During one period I saw one kept disappearing under the tall Leylandii in the corner of the garden. I decided to have a scout around to see if I could see signs of a store or activity. The ground under the Leylandii is covered with a layer of old leaves but in three places there were bald spots which were probably too small to have been made by Bobby when he is sniffing around. In one of these patches was a solitary black sunflower seed. Coincidence? Possibly, but the bird was flying very low in to that area.

Sunflower Seed

Finally next door's Elder is in full berry which means they will be dropping on my side turning everything a deep purple if the birds don't make off with them soon.

Elder Berries


  1. Beautiful sharp close-up photography.

  2. Great pictures, even if the birds do make off with them all will be purple. Hasn't it been a great summer for both flora fauna and insects?

  3. That pink flower is a beauty John. And I reckon you're right with the butterfly ID; looks like a Holly Blue to me.

  4. Thank you to The Abbot for your kind comment.

  5. You are right on both counts Adrian. Pigeon dropping will soon be changing colour. Over all the mix of rain and sun seems to have helped a whole range of nature to surge this year.

  6. I wish I could remember what that plant is Keith. It will have a name tag somewhere but it is difficult to get at. It is not always the large flowers which look nice. That one is about an inch across.
    Thanks for the flutter confirmation. It seemed to match with one on my identification sheet. I didn't realise there are so many small butterflies about.

  7. John, I find that spider/hoverfly/reflection shot quite mesmerising - an image that makes me stop, look and think.

  8. I must admit, Rob, that I was fascinated by the double reflection in the double glazing. It made for a 'different' photo. I had to use manual focus as the auto kept latching on to the reflection of the clouds.

  9. Brilliant shots John! Particularly the flowers. I'm very partial to sunflowers as I think I might have mentioned here once before. I actually posted about one on my blog a while back, about one that came up wild in my vegie garden. A monster!! :) It's here if interested.....
    Those elderberries look yummy. Had one growing here once.

  10. Bits and bobs of nature are just the thing to take photos of and these ones are eye catching. I especially love the hibiscus and the pink flower; both look lovely enough to frame or put on a card. Interesting about the bird and the sunflower seed. We talk about their little bird brains, but they seem to work quite well ;) Very artistic photography of the spider doing what it does so well. It's interesting to know (at least for me) that hummingbirds use spider web silk in making their small nests.

  11. Hi Pam. Thank you. I had a look at your Sunflower - what a monster! I have never managed to get one up to that sort of size. I bet some seed eating birds had a real feast.
    The Elder is a nuisance as so many of the seeds start to grow they tend to take over my garden if I don't pull them all up.

  12. Hi Glo. The single Hibiscus flower is so much more attractive than the whole bush and I really love the subtle shades on the pink flower.

    Coal Tits are known to store seeds and I have been trying to see where the local ones are taking theirs.

    Interesting about the humming bird nest. Chaffinches use threads from webs to bind the materials in their nests and I'm sure there are some other birds which line their nest with webs.

  13. Ahh..those seed eating birds would be my chooks that I had at the time, and yes they rather enjoyed them! :)
    We had a big problem with the "runners"(?) on the Elderberry, more than the seeds.

  14. Glad your Sunflowers are being put to good use John, the snails ate mine while they were still 'knee high to a grasshopper' :( I had one particularly tall and lovely one a couple of years ago which promptly turned its back on me and smiled for the neighbours!

    Lovely photos, I especially like the pink flower.

  15. Hi Jan. Sorry your Sunflowers were got at. No wonder you go out at night snail collecting.

    I must find out what that pink flower is so I can get some more.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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