Archives for category: flora


© Gavin Parsons. All rights reserved

© Gavin Parsons. All rights reserved

I apologise for the lack of a Behind the picture last week. I was too busy to create one. So sorry about that. This week’s behind the is a bit different as it is not from my archive, but rather a picture I took just a couple of days ago. This year the celandines in Dorset have had a bumper year. Last years incessant rain allowed them to grow like they’ve never grown before. They like damp soil and we’ve got a lot of that.

On Saturday I went for a walk along the river looking for insects to photograph and ended up half buried in the bank of a local lane photographing the celandines. I’m not one for just straight flower photography, I find them a bit boring, so I like to get in among the flowers and look for interesting angles with lots of out of focus elements to create an ethereal feel to the image.

This one I was pretty pleased with as it is more like a painting I think than a photograph.

It was shot with a 60mm macro lens along with a ZigView viewer which, as I;ve said before, means I can get the camera at a really low angle without lying in the mud.



Wanting life, given death

sundew and common blue damselflyThis week’s Behind the Picture was taken a few miles from my home in Dorset. I love the idea of nature being turned on its head and was intrigued by the UK’s population of carnivorous plants. They are the sort of thing you expect to find in the tropics, but each summer Drosera rotundifolia, known to us as either the common or round leafed sundew rises from the bogs of lowland heaths.

They are beautiful plants, but what makes them fascinating is their ability to destroy beauty as well. Their leaves are covered in tiny nodules of a sticky substance which clings strongly to any hapless insect which lands of it. Dragonflys and damselflys are always looking for a perch to land on and some like this Enallagma cyathigerum or common blue damselfly are quite often caught out.

I found this individual just after he’d (I know it’s a him because he is blue, the females are a yellowish colour) inadvertently landed on a tall sundew plant. He was struggling to get away, but to no avail. He’d fought so hard that the sticky nodules had been shaken off, but the plant had its prey and wasn’t letting go. The damselfly was going to die and then be dissolved by the plant. But, and this is the reason why I think it is a powerful image, the damselfly is born with a permanent smile on its face. It looks like its happy and the vibrant colours create a sense of happiness until you realise what is actually going on. They say nature can be cruel, but she can also put on a hell of a show while she is doing it.

To get a low angle I had to sink my camera down into the damp spongy ground and I used a macro lens and a Zigview view to see the image without having to lay down on the wet earth.