A roadside gazania, with bee.



Bees & Bugs, Flowers

Gazania, with bee


My cistus bush is flowering at the moment, providing a beaut splash of colour in my garden.


And, here on the blog! I never know exactly what colour the background will be, but did try to influence it by adding the pink fuzzy border to the image.

Thanks for looking.


Bees & Bugs, Flowers

Bee on a Rock Rose


Last week, only a narrow swathe of straggly Paterson’s curse lined parts of the bush track to our camp by the river.  I’m really pleased with the few photos of foraging bees I took (Nikon D3000), but I decided to seek out a fact or two about this weed before hitting publish.


Paterson’s curse has a high concentration of pyrrolizidine alkaloidsis, making it poisonous when eaten in large quantities by grazing animals. Those with simple digestive systems, like horses, are particularly vulnerable.

Native to Western and Southern Europe and is also known as blueweed, Lady Campbell weed, Riverina bluebell, and purple vipers-bugloss. In South Australia it is known as Salvation Jane because it has good points, too, being valuable fodder for ruminants – cattle and sheep – when natural pasture has died off.


When used in honey production, the nectar has to be blended with other honey to reduce the toxins.


I love how the colour changes over the life of the bloom – from pink to blues to purples. These images have only been cropped and sharpened. I haven’t messed with the colours.



What I really wanted to know was how it got its name. Apparently, it’s thought that a Patterson family grew Echium plantagineum as an ornamental plant in their garden. It spread and took over previously productive land. I was a little disappointed at that, hoping for something more dramatic. I suppose Mrs Patterson got the blame.

I’m not surprised it would be cultivated for its beautiful flowers, though, not surprised at all.

Many thanks for dropping in!



Bees & Bugs, Flowers

Bees and Salvation Jane


Prickly Lettuce

Hello people, hope you are having a lovely week. I’ve been in a bit of photography slump as I’m looking for new things so you never get sick of the bees. I really miss having the birds on my front fence – I don’t put seed out for them at the moment as the paddocks and roadsides have ample seed supplies. The weeds have flourished this year with the regular rainfall. And it is a weed that I’m sharing today. (I still put out water for the birds but they visit when the light is poor or when I’m still abed.)


While walking this morning – back building up to 10,000 daily steps – I wondered about this weed in my garden. I normally pull them before they reach this stage and I was surprised to see the dandelion-like seed heads. I discovered they are known as prickly lettuce and are the ancestors of all lettuces. Gosh, I wouldn’t fancy eating them, but the young leaves are edible.



Most plants with milky sap are poisonous. These have milky sap and a horrible smell when you brush against them.



Maybe if I was starving!

Thanks for looking. Do have a good day.