Huge black bees are bumbling everywhere from my neighbour’s tiny corn field to the pond’s edge. I think they are Southern Carpenter Bees. This one was visiting a flower I really like. The leaves are huge and look like canna lilies. The flowers which tower over my head are pink and white. The stems make interesting zigzag patterns. I am not at all certain I have the correct name in mind but I think this plant is Thalia dealbata. Go ahead and use the official scientific name if you prefer but I think the common name “Powdery Alligator-Flag” is a keeper.

Thalia dealbata?
in the early evening
resting bee

The green herons at the pond seem to be doing really well this year. I have seen quite a few juveniles in the area. I’m a bit worried about one adult who keeps hanging out with the junky pigeons and ducks though. Stay away from the white bread my friend.

I know the families who give their children bread to throw at birds mean well but … (you know the rest)

Soft feathers ….

DSCN2420In flight

DSCN2426More soft stuff …

Thoreau said the keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams. I guess that means that honey is liquid sunshine.


Bee glow below. What beautiful wings and bodies they have.


bee glow

I am still madly in love with ‘our’ bees but I think the world’s most beautiful spider lives in my backyard. I tried and tried to capture its image but the camera (haha ok, the photographer) just couldn’t get it right. Does this mean the spider put a glamour on me? That nothing I saw was real? It was all an illusion? Arachnophobes, you are dismissed. Spider pictures coming up next.

Here you can see the delicate web and the thin spun glass like quality of her legs. Both the web and the spider sparkled like water in sunlight.




Horribly out of focus but this photo almost shows the silver sparks.



These next pictures hint at how her body was kind of like an opal. The colours kept shifting. I wonder if I was looking at reflections of colour notes in the surrounding environment. Reds, blues, yellows, greens …





All the unwanted attention eventually wore her out. She sought refuge at the corner of her web. She looks so much more solid against the wood. Weird. Wonderfully so.

But I had overstayed my welcome. Message received.




Basically, the spider I saw was nothing like any of these photos! Quite a magical experience. I am sorry I couldn’t properly share it with you but maybe you have enough clues to construct her beauty in your imagination.

This is what people must mean when they say the whole is other than the sum of its parts.

And finally: rest in peace Burt. Thanks for loving the bees while you were here.

37 thoughts on “Soft

    1. Thanks so much for saying so. Bees are truly beautiful creatures. I felt the same way when I saw them glowing in the morning light — that life is so good and precious.


    1. Thanks, Donna. It is kind of weird about those herons. I see them live and they pretty much blend into the surroundings but when I see them zoomed in with the help of a camera the colour looks so intense. I am so grateful to this little toy for showing me the things I miss with my naked very near sighted eyes.


  1. Beautiful shots… Your bees are wonderful, and so busy (buzy). :) Anyone who’s seen bees like this knows where that expression came from. And your spider! Such beautiful, long legs, and the glistening colors on the underside. The spider photos are great. I can never seem to get a picture at all unless the background is almost a solid color, it’s so hard to focus.


    1. You’d think that since they stay still they would be easy to photograph but that sure hasn’t been my experience. Bah! Spiders! haha. The real joy is seeing and watching them. And bees … it has been such a pleasure to watch them. They are busy little things.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such wonderful photos and thank you so much for sharing them. I adore bees .. And love these pics. But that spider .. Wow, magic pics – love the colours and the fineness of the web. A sad end to your post .. Thinking of you


  3. Thanks for the ID on the alligator canna. We had some of those in the Wetlands exhibit at the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, but I never knew what they were. Lovely creatures and photos all.


    1. I hope I am right about that. But whatever name it goes by it is a really lovely plant. If I had the space and if I had a water garden it would be among the top choices for inclusion. I feel pretty fortunate that it grows wild so close to my house. It is kind of weird that such a beautiful native plant isn’t used more often in people’s gardens,

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Now like you I’m enchanted by bees….but spiders are not usually my cup of tea….however this opal bodied beauty has captured my heart….what a wonderful world we live in!


  5. As always your photos are amazing. Even the spider ones, and I am an arachnophobe who looked at the pictures anyway out of morbid curiosity. These pictures almost make this spider look Not-Scary. Almost. I’d still run away if I saw it in person :-)


  6. Adding my wishes to yours for Mr. Shavitz… Like nearly everyone else, I probably have at least three items at my house with his face on them. And every time I see him, I think “bees!”.

    I think your spider photos are great – capturing them on their webs is so tricky. My “camera” refuses to cooperate most days. Hmmm. Is there some Spider-Camera conspiracy? Spiders are with cameras like vampires with mirrors? Hmmmmm.


  7. A magnificent spider indeed and wonderful photos.
    I find Carpenter bees appearing all round the house in May which alarms me as I live in a timbered house. I never see where they have their nest though.
    I love your Green Heron, what a beautiful bird.


    1. I have heard they can eventually be destructive though others say as long as you maintain the wood with paint or some other coating the bees will look elsewhere. *my fingers are crossed for your house* The heron really is a pretty bird and luckily quite common.


  8. Some really nice photos. It’s a shame about the spider. She looks like she could be a very photogenic subject. I have never managed to get a good photo of a spider in its web and there were a couple I really wanted – very frustrating.


  9. Well, your photos are stunning, so I can’t imagine what it must be to behold the spider in real life. Bees are beautiful, aren’t they? All of them. Love the alligator plant–I’m not familiar with it, thanks for sharing.


    1. Thanks, Tina. Bees truly are beautiful creatures. I love how they glow in sunlight and I really love how alien they are. I’ve been reading a bit about the superorganism theory and I am quite awed.


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