They are tiny

Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge: Mini

I am often banging on about the Stingless Native Bees that are in my garden. I find them fascinating as the zip around the garden filling their mini pollen sacs with pollen from the flowers. When the Hippeastrums are in flower, they all come to gather pollen for their hive (or really a resinous nest) and get a bit of nectare as well. They do make honey but only around one litre a year.

These mini bees are up to 3 to 5mm long. Their nests are in tree hollows and are constructed in spirals usually. This slideshow gives an idea of their size and the pollen sacs.

Native Bees are found from the coastal area of north-east of New South Wales, across the top of Australia to the northern area of Western Australia. There are over 1,700 native bees in Australia but only eleven of these are the mini Stingless Native Bees.

I love seeing these mini bees in my garden knowing they are doing a good job pollinating the flowers.

Life of an Orange Trumpet flower

Another in my series of “In the life of…..” This time it is the Orange Trumpet vine or Brazilian Flame Vine (Pyrostegia venusta) whose flowers are out in force at this time of the year around the North Coast of NSW.

This one is on my shed and it almost covers the roof and hangs down the walls so the display is seen from all angles.

When the flowers are just starting out they are a lovely lime green bud that gradually turns yellow before bursting forth into the brilliant orange flower. Even at this stage, tiny spiders set up home with delicate webs strung between the buds.

The flowers are in large groups which can range from a new bud, unopened flowers to some that are open and ready for visitors, giving a warming look to a winters garden.

Flame vine is the perfect name, because when it’s in bloom, the plant comes alive with a fiery hue of bright orange. Looking closer at the individual flowers, you’ll see the small yet bold orange trumpet-like blooms that smother the vine.

Once the flowers are open the insects gather to collect the nectar and pollen. When I went down the garden as the flowers started to open, there was a definite buzz happening.

One of the winter butterflies in the garden is the Meadow Argus who love flitting from one flower trumpet to another. I was waiting for the Meadow Argus to sit with its wings open, as it does frequently, but on this day they were too intent of getting nourishment. Their “eye spots” on the wings are a wonderful orange as well.

A tiny Stingless Native Bee makes a beeline for an open trumpet to add more to its pollen sacks.

The flowers last for a few weeks but there is always new buds appearing to take there place.

Even as they are in their final days, I love the texture.

I couldn’t not go without leaving a Meadow Argus showing its patterns and colours.

I hoped you enjoyed a look into the life of an Orange Trumpet Flower.
Also for Cee’s FOTD

Just these ones

Lens-Artists Challenge: Picking Favourites

This was a difficult challenge. Most people would expect that I would choose a bird photo or perhaps flowers but this time I have gone into not what makes this a great photo but why.

Sarah provided a brief that was quite prescriptive wanting to know: – “Tell us a bit about each of your three photos please. Where you took it and when. Why you are pleased with it and have chosen it for this challenge. Does it evoke some special memories that influenced your choice of it as a favourite? Has it won a competition perhaps? Or is it simply a shot you love and are pleased to have taken. It doesn’t matter, by the way, if you’ve shared it before. The best images are worth seeing more than once, after all.”

Earlier today I was looking at the posts of people I follow and from Ann-Christine She wrote “…I can see that I photograph more with my heart than with camera and lens….” This resonated with me and I commented “I must agree that when you take a photo with your heart, it shines through the lens, captured forever. Looking back that sense of heart glows ever bright remembering the moment”

This first photo is a place of calm and is one of my favourite places to go. The peace and looking over the rest of the Gibraltar Range from Raspberry Lookout. I am lucky that it is not far from my place. This is a place where my heart does feel at peace and the photos I take shine through.

Coming back into the urban environment, I was sitting in the Byron Bay Bakery where the windows are almost floor to ceiling with seating waiting for my bestie. In front of the bakery the street plantings are Lilli Pilli bushes which at the time were flowering. The colour of the flowers against the grey of the street took my eye.

Always with camera at hand, I focused to get the photo I saw and then just then, what could be called a zen moment, a Stingless Native Bee cruised over to check out the flower. Stingless Native Bees are about 10mm in length. A macro photo using telephoto with the camera just set on auto.

I love sunset photos when the sky is special. This photo takes in another part of my life as I live in the bush or countryside and cattle are in nearly all of the farms around. A silhouette against a coloured sky makes a strong image. Sometimes cows tend to pose at the right time in the right place.

OK I am sneaking in just one more so I can break the “rules”

It is not often that a Moon Flower opens in the Full Moon as they are supposed to do but when they do they are spectacular. I cannot remember the camera settings, probably hand held night scene function on my camera. I had my bestie as my assistant and she held the torch so I might get that just right photo

Here’s to two

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Twin

Pacific Black Ducks

Re-living the Past #5 – the first macros – flower and insect edition

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge: Close up or Macro

A Stingless Native Bee on a Murraya flower with an ant looking on – April 2013

My first Stingless Native Bee flying. This little one, 10mm in size, flying past a Hibiscus – April 2013

A Native flower on my place – July 2014

A Torenia flower, getting right in there – Oct 2014

The Hippeastrum flower showing the anthers – October 2014

Another Native flower on my place – July 2014

Inside the red Nasturtium flower – October 2014