Observing insects on flowers can while away significant portions of my day but it is a joyous pursuit when in produces an image I can connect with. Recently while on vacation near Lake Tahoe in California I was chasing a bee on some Cornflowers and this is what I saw.
Situational awareness is a useful skill and it requires paying careful attention to your surroundings. Since we were Bond movie fans as kids my brother often used to tell me to “Pay attention 007″ and I even use it on my kids now too.
Photo 1: Bee and Horse Chestnut flowers
In the Bond movies Q (the Quartermaster) famously says to James Bond “Now pay attention 007″. It’s remarkable how scenes and lines from movies spring to mind in various situations. I am usually so involved in my lists that I don’t pay attention to much else happening around me unless I have my camera in hand.
My camera increases my mindfulness since it focuses my attention. When I walk or even drive somewhere I often remember the locations of a particular flower or tree in bloom.Intention gives focus which in turn makes one more mindful.
The busyness of life and our emphasis on the next task does not usually allow this attention to permeate our days.
Photo 2: Butterfly on Thistle
I know that it can be learnt to a certain extent because when I have my camera I scan for interesting details all the time. It’s also interesting though that sometimes when I am shooting a particular bloom I shut out everything else around me. Not always a good thing when you’re taking photographs in the woods so tuning in the other peripheral senses at those times is useful.
The more attention you pay the better your situational awareness will be. It seems as with most other types of learning, the more you practice, the better you become.
On the creek trail not too far from our house I found a rather large thistle in bloom. While I was focussing on the bloom a lovely Painted Lady Butterfly came to feed off it and it was followed by some bees and a little Skipper butterfly as well. Thistles must taste good to bugs and they don’t seem to like sharing a bloom either.
The brilliant blue colour of the cornflower really is eye-catching even in a field of meadow flowers. According to folklore, cornflowers were worn by young men in love; if the flower faded too quickly, it was taken as a sign that the man’s love was not returned.
While getting the kids into the car for a trip to the museum I cam across this lovely sight. An Admiral Butterfly perched on a Butterfly Bush who was shortly joined by a bee. Took it as a good omen for the day ahead.