Monday 27 June 2011: Melancholy Fly
Volucella pellucens * on Melancholy thistle.
I was given some seedlings of Melancholy thistle (Cirsium heterophyllum) a few years ago and planted them in the garden outside the kitchen window. They didn't do much for the first couple of seasons, then last year we heavily disturbed them when we finally got round to digging out an old conifer stump. The thistles appear to have thrived on it and are showing well this season, attracting some interesting pollinators, like this fly with its striped abdomen.
I bought my Macro lens in the late Autum last year. My first few attempts at using it produced the most dreadful results, and I seriously thought I had wasted my money. A few months back I started trying it out again, and somehow got the feel of what it can do. Now, it's hardly off the camera. I love the hidden worlds it reveals, the miniature landscapes blown up to a human scale, where mini-beasts become megafauna, and the architecture of plants is strikingly displayed.
I spoke to my Dad tonight. He has escaped from hospital custody, and is back at home enjoying the 2nd week of Wimbledon. Contrary to expectations he hasn't yet seen the back-blipped entry for Saturday. I think he will be pleased with the kind comments that were made, and even more so to know that he made a brief appearance on the Spotlight page.
* Update. Thanks to Mollyblobs for the identification of the Volucella sp.