posted in: Bees, Invertebrates, My garden, Worcestershire | 0

Part way through a rather mad morning – an early trip to Stratford to top up on shopping, followed by a couple of hours in the kitchen, making a batch of slow-cooker Stifado and next week’s breakfast yoghurt – I went out into the garden and toured what I think of as the basking shrubs, to see if any invertebrates were warming themselves in the unexpected sunshine. I’d got as far as the secret garden and was walking slowly along the laurel hedge, when a determined high-pitched buzzing caught my attention, and just as I looked down a small ginger bee zoomed past at high speed.

Oh frabjous day! I thought. Plumpies!!

Half a metre of lens isn’t the ideal tool for capturing something 15mm long, but it was what I had to hand – and anyway, my subject was very fresh and skittish, and not keen on being approached too closely, so being able to stand well back helped me to get these two photos. The second one is more descriptive if you’ve never seen one of these little guys before, but I couldn’t resist featuring that lovely cream face, buried in a sweet violet flower as he stopped momentarily to refuel.

After a couple of minutes a second male appeared, and the two of them whisked away, bickering loudly. I’d have loved to spend the rest of the afternoon stalking them, but I was working against the clock by then, and only just had time to finish the yoghurt before I had to set off for a choir section rehearsal. This was very valuable, and I even enjoyed bits of it despite there being nowhere to hide from the Musical Director among a dozen other altos, but I was sad that by the time I got home the garden was in shade and the temperature was plummeting. It was certainly too cold for the boys still to be out, but (as we owlers say), there’s always tomorrow.

In other news, and on the subject of owls, I’ve heard from Hillyblips this evening that there are in fact still some owls up on the scarp. Whether or not I’ll be up there with them is open to question though, now that the boys are back in town.