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 🙂

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Inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: a good match

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Freshly Emerged

From behind the furry covering, the fresh yellow stamens are now appearing on the Willow catkins. They’re clean and new and fresh. Some are all the way out now, and others just peeking. They looked lovely in the sunshine yesterday morning 🙂 IMG_1580-Edit IMG_1581-Edit IMG_1577-Edit IMG_1579-Edit

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Fresh.”

Willow Sparkle

There’s not a lot to see at the moment. The weather is really not helping – wind and rain this weekend and the last. I ventured out briefly yesterday and all I could find were sparkly willow buds all covered in tiny raindrops. They were very pretty though, so made up for the lack of much else!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity

Serenity

This is where I find my peace and serenity
in nature among the small things
where new life lies waiting for warmer days
and spring is just around the corner
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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Serenity.”

Big Buff-Tip

Don’t seen to have seen so many caterpillars this year, but a week or so ago, I spotted this chap on the Willow. He’s a rather large Buff-tip Moth caterpillar. I went for an unusual angle to get this shot, looking upwards at him. Seems to work quite well 🙂

All sorts of life on one little Willow

I decided to have a wander in the garden and see what I could see. I was looking on the little Willow tree to see if there were any insects, and I was surprised to find loads! It’s a cloudy rainy day, so I used my flash to capture the various insects. I’ve labelled them as best I can – if anyone can correct me or help with missing names, just leave a comment. The lesson (if there is one) is that if you look closely you’ll find your garden is teeming with life. All this in one little Willow tree! 🙂

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Green Orb Spider – Araniella cucurbitina
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Tiny moth – Stigmella aurella
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Some kind of Midge?
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Ant
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Not sure what fly this is
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Not sure if this is a Sawfly or a Wasp
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Unidentified Fly – any ideas anyone?
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Midge
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Yellow Dung Fly
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St Mark’s Fly
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House Fly
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Dung Fly

Early spring?

The weather continues to be rather changeable and not entirely wintry. I’m not really complaining, although I wish we had a few more dry days. Thankfully there have been no more storms, although there has been some gusty wind and rain. It is quite chilly but nothing like last winter when we were in the middle of snow and ice and spring ended up being late. I don’t think it will be late this year – I’ve seen daffodil shoots coming up, and some lambs in the fields, and the snowdrops are on their way. It feels like early spring to me. The little willow in the front garden is starting to show its fluffy catkin buds too. The Jackdaws continue to guard their nest sites – a pair on each of our chimneys. Mr Robin continues to act like he owns the bird feeders, but I forgive him as he sings so sweetly sometimes – the other day he sat on the gate and sang his heart out while I stood and watched 🙂

If tomorrow is dry I will try and get out for a walk and hopefully get a few pictures. Excuse the lack of them for now!

Pottering in the Garden

I managed to finish work a little early today so had a quick look around the garden to see what was going on…

I was pleased to see that my little Lavender bush is flowering and had a bee visiting:

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The Buff-Tip Moth caterpillars have grown loads since the last time I photographed them:

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And I found this tiny little bug on the Willow tree:

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All in all, a rather satisfying little potter round the garden 🙂

Wet Willow

The other day, the evening sun came out after rain and there were some nice droplets on the little Willow tree. I like this shot because my house is magically contained in the water droplet! It’s upsidedown but still, I think it’s cool 🙂

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There were also a lot of droplets on the catkins and I took several photos. These 3 are of the same catkin, just changing the focus on each one – so if you move through the images you’ll see the droplets clearly starting at the end of the catkin and working your way back towards the tree. I was just going to put one in but I can’t really decide which is best! If there had been a little more light I would have been able to up the aperture and perhaps get them all in focus at once, but it was evening and not possible without fetching out the tripod.

Flower Bug

I took these photos a couple of days back when I spotted this bug on our little Willow tree. I thought he was pretty. Then last night I was going to blog him, but spent ages instead trying to work out what he was! Finally today I have figured it out and I can now blog him happily and tell you that he is a Common Flower Bug or Anthocorus nemorum. You can see by the size of the Willow buds next to him that he was rather small!

Incidentally, if you are interested in bugs, the site I linked to above is really useful. The only reason I didn’t find this bug sooner is that they hadn’t yet added this group of bugs to the index page of their gallery.

Fly on Willow

Some photos of a fly today. Not the most appealing insect, but actually quite interesting when you get close up. This one has a particularly hairy bottom! 🙂