Droplets on Catkins

Admittedly these may not be the obvious things that spring to mind for most people when thinking about the topic of ‘a good match’, but as I glanced through recent photos these leapt out at me.

At this time of year, if there is sunshine after the rain, there’s a good chance of capturing some beautiful droplets as they rest on the Willow catkins in my garden. They look so good together. Fluffy white catkins, and sparkling jewelled droplets. The droplets seem to defy gravity. Perhaps the hairs on the catkins help them stay put.

I think they are a very good match 🙂

32572152622_aa2e4ceaa6_h

32725274225_4b29a3dfeb_h

32345577290_fc2903b0b3_h

32725302705_d0b8886990_h

Inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: a good match

Advertisements

Springtime

Spring is a lovely time of year. It’s still cold and it may seem that there’s not much to see, but if you look hard you can find lots of lovely signs of hope. Sometimes it can feel like it has been winter forever, but against all the odds, the spring comes again. Flowers start to show themselves even though temperatures still dip quite low, and everything begins again. In the last few weeks the Snowdrops and Crocuses have been appearing, as well as Celandines and Daisies. And the first few Daffodils too. It makes me so happy to see them emerging – little splashes of colour and hope, lighting up my world.

31881651454_430547caa0_h
Dainty Snowdrop covered with raindrops
32970011665_2643bd50a6_h
Snowdrop neighbours
32845046571_5ad1cc6116_h
Golden Crocus seems to glow
32155204223_4f5fb0a4bd_h
Delicate lilac Crocus with beautifully contrasting stamens
32929002556_8a62c49434_h
Bright orange stigma and stamens
32126448024_62975c1c66_h
Celandine like a drop of sunshine
32929673776_1cb4d90770_h
Humble Daisy
32815533442_c4a57f74b7_h
Elegant Daffodil

This post was inspired by springtime and by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Against the Odds.

Anticipating Spring

I know, we haven’t even got Christmas out of the way yet, and I’m already thinking about next year! The Weekly Photo Challenge this week is about anticipation and this made me think of spring time and how I eagerly look for signs of what’s coming in the hedgerows. One of the things that gets me excited is when I see the Bluebells beginning to emerge. First of all the flower are in tight green buds, all packed together, but you know what is coming so the anticipation builds.

img_2523-edit

img_2524-edit

img_2527-edit

img_2525-edit

Beech Transformation

The Weekly Photo Challenge this week is ‘Transmogrify’. What a word! This is what it means:

transmogrify
/tranzˈmɒɡrɪfʌɪ,trɑːnz-,-ns-/
verb humorous
transform in a surprising or magical manner.
“his home was transmogrified into a hippy crash pad”

Well, in nature things shouldn’t be that surprising as they happen on a regular basis, but it still thrills me at this time of year when I look out of my bedroom window at this:

img_9320-edit

My beautiful Beech tree is looking amazing at the moment. So much colour – yellow, gold, orange, brown and still some green. Isn’t it lovely? I’m so lucky to have this in my hedge right outside. Please excuse the strange small shape half way up the left side of this image – that’s the handle on my window – it won’t open any further!

But what about the the transmogrification process, or if you prefer (it’s easier to say) – the transformation…

Back in the winter there were no leaves, making it a great place to take a photo of the sunset, with a lovely silhouette:

25510046986_e28abc9bda_h

And when it was rainy it collected the droplets on its bare branches, looking like it was decorated with jewels:

IMG_9885-Edit

As spring approached, the buds began to fatten up:

img_0856-edit

And then the joy of fresh delicate green leaves emerging:

IMG_3171-Edit

IMG_3166-Edit

These 2 photos are quite old, before I found my style for processing images, but I’m including them so you can see the full tree in spring. First with only some of the leaves emerged:

This is how it looked on Monday - kind of half done

And then in full leaf:

And this is how it looks today :)

After a summer of lush green leaves, the colour started to change, just a little at first:

img_9662-edit

And back to the present, this time viewed from the path outside my front door:

img_9316-edit

Damsel Fix

I know, I know, it’s always damsels with me at the moment, but look at these beauties! Got to get my damsel fix. Enjoy 🙂

IMG_3956-EditIMG_3974-EditIMG_4083-EditIMG_4092-EditIMG_4101-EditIMG_4187-Edit

All sorts of creatures

What else is lurking in my garden, aside from damselflies, frogs and newts?

Well, all sorts of things actually! Here are a few of them:

IMG_3968-Edit
Sun Fly
IMG_3971-Edit
14-spot Ladybird
IMG_3973-Edit
Little Spider
IMG_4104-Edit
Large (and slightly alarming) spider
IMG_4108-Edit
Yellow Dung Fly
IMG_4110-Edit
Furry Dronefly
IMG_4111-Edit
Furry Dronefly
IMG_4121-Edit
Battling spiders!
IMG_4151-Edit
Fly on a dandelion

Orange-tip

I had started to think that Orange-tip Butterflies were not very friendly. Every time I saw one I’d follow but it would flit away without pausing so I could get a shot. Most frustrating. However on Saturday one finally decided to be nice! It seems they like Herb Robert flowers – this little guy was ignoring any other type of flower and just fluttering between Herb Robert flowers. It made for a nice shot when I caught up with him!

IMG_3487-Edit

And here he is with his wings outspread, showing off the bright, bright orange that gives him his name:

IMG_3483-Edit

First of the season

Anyone would think I was obsessed with Damselflies – I’ve just realised the featured image for the last 3 posts has been a damsel! However it’s not just damsels – I am also a little obsessed with Dragonflies!

And joy of joys I saw my first dragon of the year at the weekend 🙂

IMG_3502-EditIMG_3503-Edit

This was, I believe, a fairly freshly emerged Four-Spotted Chaser.

Face-off

I found a little corner down from the pond which seemed to be the place the cool Large Red Damselflies were hanging out. They allowed me to take some photos while they posed, and I got right in this one’s face!

IMG_3525-Edit

More posing Damsels:

IMG_3520-EditIMG_3528-Edit

Inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Face.

Hand in hand through their pondlife

My pond is full of life at the moment 🙂

There are newtlets galore (well, at least 6) and adult newts too (harder to get a decent shot of). The Frogbit (tiny lily pads) is resurfacing too.

IMG_3455-Edit

At the weekend I spotted a couple of teeny little frogs too. Only got a shot of this one.

IMG_3460-Edit

And the Damselflies are not only being spotted at the village pond, they are also in my garden 🙂 This Large Red Damselfly fluttered past me while I sat looking at newts and I was lucky enough to catch a shot of him.

IMG_3462-Edit

Tis the season…

… for showing off to the ladies!

This male Dronefly is no exception. The female seemed to be pointedly ignoring him, but he kept on hovering above her in a suggestive manner. She was not impressed.

IMG_3448-EditIMG_3452-Edit

Life on a Dock leaf 2

Rather less shiny and cute, the other aptly named creatures on the Dock are the Dock Bugs. They were also feeling a bit of spring fever, although one of them needed to take a rest!IMG_3391-EditIMG_3394-EditIMG_3402-Edit