Our cuckoos returned from Africa at the tail end of last week and they were singing in this morning's medley. I pondered for a while how it is that your ear can pick out and focus on one single note amid such a rich tapestry of sound.
Days here have been hot of late, with the warmth playing out to a backdrop of buzzing and light and colour. On days such as these I don't have to remember to look with my eyes as well as my camera. There is so much to see.
This morning, for example, Pop and I were examining the Ribes, discussing the best way to photograph it (this has been eluding me for some time) when a deeper, more distinct and throbbing buzz than those made by the ever-present hoverflies alerted us to the arrival of a Red-Tailed Queen Bumble. She flirted with the pinky-crimson flowers of the Ribes for a bit, before finally settling on the blue-lilac of the Grape Hyacinth....
Poppy was intrigued, but was also listening to me as well as the bee and stepped back from too close an examination when asked. This made me proud of her, because she is still only a little girl learning her way through the world, and although she tries so hard to be good, sometimes small people need to be playful and just a little bit naughty.
We returned our attention to the complex issue of capturing the essence of the Ribes. It has done us proud this Spring and I wanted to represent it well. I felt frustration at my inability to connect with it and get the shot, then I found myself thinking of my friend Amanda whose photographs are always exquisite and vocal, and I imagined how she would approach the picture. Something clicked and the picture came.
Once we had that one in the bag, others started to appear inside my eye so that when I looked through the view finder the right image was there. I don't mess about with my photos; short of cropping them, what you see is what I have taken; no editing, no touching up, no colour or shade alterations. I like the purity of publishing what came out when I pressed the button. There is something about 'seeing' the image that you want and knowing it when you see it. It is the difference between producing a record shot and creating something that speaks with feeling, something that conjures more than simple appreciation of the subject (to me, anyway). I also like to be faithful to my subject, warts and all, because often the warts are the interesting bit and they turn the photo from an ordinary capture into something more memorable.
Up at the pond, the King Cups are in bloom.
And tucked away around the edges of the garden, primroses are still blooming, this morning decked in simple jewels courtesy of the night's dew.
Another flower I have trouble photographing is the Forget-Me-Not. They are so very pretty, but I never seem to be able to reproduce this sufficiently well to do them justice. This morning, thinking about seeing differently, I took this shot from an angle I have never used before. I think it works.
Likewise, these shots of Mossy Saxifrage. They are tiny blooms, so I got down on their level to get an impression of what the world looks like from their eyes. It was quite a revelation and I like the resulting shots.
Finally, the moth box was out last night, but instead of the usual record shots, I'm going to show you a couple I took with the eyes I'd been using in the garden. The first is a close up on the wings of a Powdered Quaker.
And the second, the feathered antennae of one of the many Brindled Beauties who were flying about the garden last night.
I quite enjoyed all of that. It does me good to think and see from a different perspective every now and then.
Hope all are well,