The Eastern honey bee, or Asian honey bee (Apis cerana), is endemic to much of Asia where has been cultivated for honey production for millenia. It is fairly similar to … Continue Reading Asian honey bees on Calla lilies
The leaves have only just started to open on this oak tree, a Sessile oak I think, yet it is already covered by many galls. These rounded disfigurations – called … Continue Reading Oak apple galls
Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is a fast growing, invasive perennial with a terrible reputation for spreading and excluding other native plants. Its roots are also capable of breaking through concrete … Continue Reading Knot bad for bees!
Orchids flower over quite a long period, with the dates of the flowering season varying somewhat with latitude. In Scarborough, I spotted (sic) my first Common spotted orchid – in … Continue Reading Orchids come and go!
I took a few photos of a large Bombus terrestris bumblebee (queen I think) visiting foxglove flowers in St. James Park, London on a fine day last week. When I … Continue Reading Do bumblebees know when ants are in?
Common vetch plants (Vicia sativa) are much favoured by ants. The reason being that they have tiny glands – called extrafloral nectaries – which produce a nectar solution which the … Continue Reading Be my bodyguard and have a drink! Said the vetch to the ant.
This beautiful insect looks like a beetle, but it is in fact a bug – a true bug as entomologists call hemipterans. It is a member of the family Scutelleridae and … Continue Reading Beetle-like bug
Take a photograph of a flower, examine it closely – or enlarge it on a computer screen – and you will invariably find an insect lurking somewhere in the picture. … Continue Reading Flowers and insects: an ancient alliance
Sometimes when you take a photograph you only notice something unusual about it when you come to examine the image closely on the computer. I took this image of a … Continue Reading Bumbler bees and foxgloves
This very strange-looking flower originates from South Asia, where it occurs from Bhutan to Bangladesh. There are more than 500 species in the genus Clerodendrum L. (Family: Lamiaceae), widely distributed … Continue Reading A weird and wonderful plant
I came across this amazing flower – rose of Venezuela, or rose of the jungle – in Bogor Botanical Gardens, Java, Indonesia. It originates from South America, where for millions … Continue Reading Rose of the jungle
ओं मणिपद्मे हूं Om Mani Padme Hum (‘the gem of truth lies in the lotus’). The lotus is an extraordinary plant; beautiful and mysterious. Seeds of this plant were still viable … Continue Reading Om Mani Padme Hum – the sacred lotus
I was fascinated by the individual variation of this flower and took a series of photographs of different flower heads which I thought might make an interesting collage! But when … Continue Reading Green bug, yellow flower
Sea Spurge. In the Spring, they produce their remarkable receptacle-like flowers, which in close-up look to me like some sort of decoration for a miniature Christmas tree! The cup-shaped flower heads … Continue Reading Sea Spurge
Sea spurge (Euphorbia paralias) is a common plant on dunes and sandy beaches, from the British Isles down to the Mediterranean. The stems are slightly fleshy and glaucous – nice … Continue Reading Sea Spurge
There were huge numbers of Marsh Fritillary (Eurodryas aurina) butterflies flying about in Galicia (north-west Spain) when I visited the province in late April. Many of them were feeding on a … Continue Reading Feeding on hemlock!