Monthly Archives: April 2019

Less is More

This week’s Lens Artist photo challenge is less is more.

 

Mulranney Causeway, tide in

Mulranny Causeway, tide in

Small country road in the green of spring

Small country road in the green of spring

Beach

Doolough Beach

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Six on Saturday

More Six on Saturday, hosted by The Propagator links can be found here

Saint Mark’s flies

Today, 25th April is St Mark’s day and I have never seen so many St Mark’s flies around us. Whether it is the couple of warm days we’ve had over the Easter or just a bumper year for these odd little flies I am not sure. One of the distinctive features of these flies is their dangling legs. They are found around woodland edges, hedgerows and wetlands.

Bibio marci

St Mark flies – Bibio marci

I think when I took these photos only the males were about. They have larger eyes and are blacker and smaller than the females.

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The flies are harmless and feed on nectar so are also accidentally pollinators. They only have a short flying life cycle and spend much of their lies as larva in the soil when they eat rotting vegetation.

Bibio marci

Bibio marci

Six on Saturday

 

Carder bee disappearing into comfrey flower

Common carder bee with it’s head deep inside a comfrey flower

1. Comprey is always a great bee plant, and it just keeps on flowering the whole season through which is a huge benefit for pollinators. 

Carder bee feeding on flower kale plants

Carder bee on flowering kale

2. I always let my over-wintered kale flower as it is another valuable food source, not just for carder bumbles but also early bumblebees and white tailed bumblebees too.

Wasp of black currant

Wasp of black currant

3. Wasps are predators of other insects but queen wasps emerging from hibernation seem to love my blackcurrant bushes. Each spring I see them feeding on the flowers, I suspect gathering nectar from the flowers.

Garden bumblebee on autumn olive tree

Garden bumblebee on autumn olive tree

4. The autumn olive is proving really popular with the bees too. Yesterday I counted four different types of bees feeding on it as well as some small hoverflies.

Carder on Indian pea tree

Carder on Indian pea tree

5; Another carder (they are easier to photograph than other bees!) on the Indian pea tree.

Tulip

Tulip

6. And finally a flower without a bee to complete my Six on Saturday .