Saturday, May 26, 2012

Yard Critters

This clump of blackberries is well visited by bees. Perhaps because I'm reading about Vermeer, I'm trying to work with natural light instead of my macro flash unit. Depth of field drops off dramatically but I like the softness of natural light, particularly when the sky is cloudy.

The rhodys are in bloom. Each year they are loaded with bees and this is the first time I watch closely enough to see that the bees are feeding from a crease surrounded by rusty colored dots.

Ants here are feasting on the surface of peony buds. From The Heartland Peony Society's FAQ:
"Do not try to get rid of the ants on your peonies. This is a natural and temporary activity. It is believed that peonies produce small amounts of nectar and other ant attractants to encourage ants to help in opening the dense double flower buds found in many peonies. The ants may be found covering certain varieties and avoiding others, this is totally normal.

"Once the buds have opened the ants will disappear - also normal."


  1. These photographs are so beautiful- I think you were wise to use natural light as it gives the pictures such a delicate feel (esp. with that depth of field). SO cool about the ants "helping" the peonies to open; I often wondered why peonies always seemed to be covered in ants while other flowers were ignored by them.
    I have had a beautiful indigo bunting in my yard this past week (he's one for my life list!) . He stays a good portion of the day, always in the exact same tree and perches on the exact same branch, singing his little heart out; unfortunately not close enough for a good photograph, but I am enjoying him none the less.
    ~ gretchen

  2. By today that bud had nearly doubled in size and there were only a few ants working the petal edges. The other smaller buds were still loaded with ants.

    Congrats on the indigo bunting! It sounds so wonderful to be greeted each day with that beauty!