Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Bumblebees and fuschia

While I was weeding I saw a hortorum worker enter a fushia flower.  She had to wriggle and squeeze herself to get in, and it was the high pitched buzz that attracted my attention.  Well she was in there for over a minute, and emerged covered in pollen, and went into the next flower.  Fuschias must be a good nectar source to take such a long time to deplete.  I'd never noticed bumblebees foraging on them before, but this one is right next to a cerinthe, which they love, so perhaps it was a lucky try.  I cannot imagine that a big fat terrestris would have any chance getting in, so perhaps it is just hortorum that can manage it.

Newly emerged worker

Just added an image of a newly emerged worker with soft wings and silver hair.  It is a truly fantastic image.  I wish I could take images like this.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Caddis fly larva

Just added this drawing of a Limnephilidae larva to the second caddis fly page.
Limnephids are probably the most commonly found caddis flies, so it is about time I had a drawing to add.

The sun is actually shining today, and the garden is filled with bumblebees - new queens, males and workers.  They have had a tough few days with all the rain, and many of my flowers have been flattened, but there are still the wild flowers and the lavender for them.  Didn't see a single honey bee though.  Masses of hoverflies.  I've been trying to photograph some of the hoverflies, but they are really difficult to get as they move away as soon as I'm ready.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Natsuo Kirino and Stephen Fry

I've just finished reading Natsuo Kirino's Grotesque, and while I did think it was good, it is not a patch on Out which is truly fantastic and I'll probably read it again. 

I discovered her books while I was in Japan, so I don't know how difficult they will be to get hold of over here, but if you can read just one then Out is the one to choose.  I couldn't put it down.  It describes the life of women working in a bento (packed lunch) factory - the type of life that most foreigners will never know much of - so that is part of the fascination.  This is not the hightech, sleek, Japan.  This is the Japan of backbreaking, boring low paid work.  It is the story of 4 very different women; how they came to work in the factory, and what happens to them.  I'm not giving any more away.  Get the book, read it and pass it on.  It's a murder/mystery, so it will appeal to men too.

Last night I finished Stephen Fry's Hippopotamus.  Hilarious as always.  I'll have to get hold of his other books. 

But I'm thinking of rereading all the Harry Potters.  I've just seen the last film.  Of course, good as the films are, they are not a patch on the books.  But I want to reread my Dickens too - it's ages since I read one of his books.  There are just not enough hours in the day, and I've all the pics of bumblebees to sort through and add to the pages, not to mention the other beasties I've photographed.  And the pile of books I've bought and not had time to read yet.  What a life I have, I am so lucky, all I want is more time.