Saturday, 30 July 2011

Fennel, Hoverflies etc

I originally went out to photograph the Fennel flowers, set off against the bright greenish-yellow leaves of the Golden Hop...

Which I duly did.

And I was quite pleased with the results, until...

Once the Hoverfly came along, my camera started working Overtime... The flowers went into second place and my interest switched to the insect.

Realising that there were actually lots of Hoverflies around, I went over to the Asparagus bed and took some more photos of them there, where it was easier to get the camera into a good position.

There were also bees collecting nectar from the Asparagus flowers.

By then I was well-and-truly in "David Attenborough mode" and started searching the garden for any type of wildlife I could find, like this bee (perched on a Dogwood flower).

And this Ladybird larva. Can you see the one diminutive green aphid in this picture? It's hiding in a crevice (bottom left), hoping to remain so unobtrusive that the Ladybird larva doesn't see him. I know that Ladybirds eat aphids, so maybe their larvae do too...

Who's lurking in here then? This is a green Shield Bug trying to hide in a Calendula flower.

And then I went back to the Fennel for "just one more shot". The light conditions made for a great contrast between the bright flowers and the subdued background. And the flowers themselves are fascinating too. Almost "fractal-ish", if you know what I mean.


  1. Please post pictures of your hops (larger scale) you eat it or just for decoration. I just went to a foraging walk and saw "wild" hops...the golden hops looks beautiful...if they are manageable in a small garden....looking forward to more info..

  2. Hi motormouth; my Hops are the golden type, which is purely ornamental. It doesn't produce much in the way of flowers, so it wouldn't be any good for brewing! It is a very vigorous plant and you would have to be careful about where you plant it. I love the greeny yellow of its leaves.

  3. Beautiful shots as always Mark you are my photographic hero.

  4. Mark I think these are by far the best of your photographs yet, they are so crisp and clear and the colours are just stunning.

    And yes, just like a Mandelbrot set!

  5. Beautiful photos as usual. I'll have to check out our asparagus as I've never looked closely at the flowers.

    There is one problem with those Harlequin ladybird larva in that they will eat our native ladybird larvae too!!

  6. All your shots are so beautiful. I wonder if you participate in those photography contests. The judges will have a hard time if you send them many entries. Your fennel flowers are very pretty. I wonder if you could tell us more about your fennel; how you usually eat the bulbs and leaves? This is the first time I'm growing it and I'm eagerly waiting for them to flower.

  7. Nice job Mark. I particularly like the second image, the light and the dark background work really well.

  8. Fractal indeed! How tight are you getting on your subjects? And I second your comment to motormouth about being careful where one plants hops. I'm still tearing it out.

  9. Anita; thanks for your comments! The fennel I have is just for ornament, not for eating. It is officially a Bronze Fennel, but actually it doesn't look very bronzy these days. I think it goes greener if it doesn't get enough light. Mine is tucked away in a corner of the garden which does tend to be a bit gloomy. I did once try growing Florence Fennel for eating, but it didn't do well. It all bolted before it produced any decent bulbs. I think my soil is too dry and sandy.

  10. David; my "close-up" photographs are normally taken at a range of about 20 - 25 cm. I don't yet have a Macro lens, so I use a 14-42 "standard" lens.

  11. Very impressed with your shots today. Your garden have so many visitors.


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