Queen Buff Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus Terrestris) by the Author

Up close and personal

I’m very excited to share this photograph of a queen Buff tailed bumble bee that decided to land on my hand while I was photographing her on my buddleia.

She was quite easy to identify as I could tell straight away she was a female from the number of flagellum on the antennae — males have 13, females have 12. The markings are very typical with the narrow orange/brown collar, slightly paler band on the abdomen and the buff coloured tail. The workers in this species have a white tail and are much smaller. This is a social bee with…

RSPB reserve on Bempton Cliffs

Gannet on Bempton Cliffs by Author

Bempton Cliffs is a nature reserve owned by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). It’s part of Flamborough Head, a chalk outcrop facing the North Sea.

The cliffs are sheer at Bempton, rising straight out of the sea, making this an ideal sight for nesting seabirds. The weathered surface full of clints and grykes creates thousands of small spaces for the birds to raise chicks.

Puffin at Bempton Cliffs, Flamborough Head by Janice Gill

A verse creation metaphor.

Tortoiseshell Butterfly by the Author

Pristine, perfect pale leaves beckon. Greedily
Gorging words in a caterpillar scrawl
Accretion of ideas, phrases forming
The metamorphic challenge yet to come
Constrained in pre-set form and wrapped in metre
Shuffle, change and rearrange, to somehow
Bring rhythm that sighs like butterfly kisses
Lines that flit and flutter by, wings beating
Paint a vision of such delicate beauty
From chrysalis to summer’s shining jewels

A muse of once curled velvet shows unfurled
Joyous colours, sparkling iridescence
In sunlight dancing, skips, flower to flower
Lingers long on a petal light as breath
Your fire burns brightly for the shortest time
Ephemeral, so magical, sublime…

Honey Bee and Bryony by the Author

Coming in to land

Pollen laden legs
Dangle lazily to greet
Waiting Bryony

Familiar buzz
Of many a summer past
Rarer each year now

Bryony is a wild scrambling plant, common in England, rare in Wales and absent from most of the rest of the British Isles. This Bryony is called white, but the flowers are actually the softest of pale greens veined with brighter green.

It’s a perennial that dies right back to ground level in autumn and puts on 15 feet of growth each season. The red or black berries are poisonous so if it appears in your garden it’s worth removing…

A Haiku

Sunset on a Welsh Beach by Janice Gill

Silence starts to fall
Broken bonds, layers of lies
Make the change you can.

I’ve tried to write this poem so that it’s meaning is open to interpretation. It may speak to you of relationships with family or loved one’s for instance.

I wrote it with our world in mind. The disappearance of species, loss of insect numbers, damage to the ecosystem and the ultimate impact this will have.

I thought of waking in a morning without birdsong.

I thought of the broken promises with regards to emissions and the misinformation fed to us by those with a vested interest…

Tree Bumble Bee on Bryony — Photo by the Author.

sing their
thrumming song
with wings of gauze
from Lavender to
Lilac. Poppies follow -
cacophonies of colour.
But nothing beats rare Bryony -
calm, serene her soft green mantle
Rich nectar, bees sip, sweet satisfaction.

In answer to the prompt Etheree by Melissa Coffey, a poem form that has one syllable on the first line, two syllables on the second line, three syllables on the third line and so on, finishing with 10 syllables on the 10th and final line.

The photograph shows a Tree Bumble bee, the only UK bee with a ginger thorax and a bright…

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly by the Author

Taking Nectar at Comfrey

Bumble Bee on Self Seeded Poppy by Janice Gill

Keep the Flowers Coming

Creating a haven for bees in your garden doesn’t require a lot of effort — quite the opposite in fact as you want nature to take over some space.

Here I allowed a self seeded poppy to grow and this large Bumble bee is enjoying the feast of nectar it provides.

To keep a range of pollinating insects coming to your garden, it’s worthwhile helping nature along a bit, ensuring your flowers are produced over a long season.

For instance, my raspberries have just finished flowering and are now fruiting — yum! Bonus for the gardener right there. …

Janice Gill

Award winning Artist and Photographer still learning and evolving. Blogging the journey.

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