After a freezing start to spring, it is finally starting to feel and look like spring. The temperature is definitely rising, and the wildlife is starting to get busy, waking up from hibernation, or preparing to raise a new generation. I also love the misty mornings, well worth waking up early to see the sunrise by the sea!
For me the first sighting of a bumblebee signifies the start of spring, and one of the first bees to emerge from hibernation is Bombus terrestris, the Buff-tailed Bumblebee. I took a break from coursework over the Easter break and walked to Pendennis Point to film these fluff balls foraging amongst the heather. Here are some stills from the footage that I will be using to put together a very short film after the final hand-in:
I experimented with different perspectives by alternating between my 100mm macro lens and my wide-angle macro lens. The wide-angle macro lens helped setting the scene and placing the bee in its natural environment.
Sometimes the queens would just snuggle up in a cluster of flowers and have a nap in the warm afternoon light. When I was filming this queen the flower mites on her back kept moving around and disturbed her sleep. (I could imagine how itchy it was!) After scratching herself with her hairy legs, she went back into a deep snooze.
After the power nap she was off again, making the most of the remaining light as the sun began to set. The pollen in the heather were sent to the air by the bee’s slightly clumsy, heavy take-off.
Another sign of spring is the first sighting of a butterfly. Among the many bumblebees was this lone Small Tortoiseshell (which was the first butterfly I took a photo of when I first arrived in Cornwall nearly 3 years ago!).
Last year I came across many tired bumblebees, crawling or sleeping in the middle of the road at the start of spring, I have one this year so far. If you see a bee struggling on the ground, try to give them a helping hand by moving them onto a flower on the sidewalk to prevent people from accidentally stepping on it. A tired bee often loves to cling onto your hand because of the warmth. A simple solution of sugar and water also helps revive exhausted bees.
Another day I was walking back home after an evening stroll along the beaches when I came across a few queens and workers of Buff-tailed and Early Bumblebees. They were busy feeding and collecting pollen on rosemary:
Because the final hand-in is in two weeks time and I have been stuck in the production hub in front of a computer every single day for probably the past month, I took an afternoon off earlier this week and went for a walk near Swanpool. Baby birds haven’t arrived in Swanpool yet, probably because of the cold start to spring. Hoverflies rested on blades of grass, tawny mining bees and hairy-footed flower bees zoomed around in the air energetically. It was so relaxing to just sit on the ground next to a row of bluebells, watching the bumblebees navigate between flowers, sleeping and waking up. This individual was particularly happy crawling up and down and feeding on a bunch of bluebells right next to me:
After the break and giving myself some ‘breathing room’ (yes this is a teaser!), I came back to the computer refreshed and inspired. I can’t wait to complete all the coursework and go back out to explore what spring/summer has to offer, and of course pursue personal projects!
Thank you for reading and I hope you are enjoying the lovely weather!
All Images © Daphne Wong Photography All Rights Reserved.
Do not use, download, post, publish or distribute any image or photo within this website for any use whatsoever without prior written permission and consent.