A Eurasian common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) with chicks, enjoying a sunny Sunday here in Amsterdam 🙂
In case anyone’s interested: There are some subtle differences in bill pattern, eye color, and shield shape between the American and the Eurasian moorhen. The easiest signs when it comes to identification are that Eurasian adults have mostly yellow lower mandibles, and a large and flat-topped shield is an indication of American.
A European honey bee (Apis mellifera), covered in pollen from a yellow rocketcress. Look what a happy little bee she is! With some imagination you can even see a smile on her face 🙂
She posed nicely for some shots and then took off, probably in a hurry to tell her friends all about it. When bees have found good nectar or pollen, they fly home and share the news with the others. First, she lets the others taste the nectar or pollen, so they can determine which flower she’s found. Then she performs something called a “waggle dance” which is a particular figure-eight dance. It’s like drawing a map in the air; the dance gives directions (bees have inbuilt compasses and use the sun as a landmark), the speed of dancing indicates how far away the flower is – the faster she dances, the closer is the flower.
PS. Have ever wondered why some bees buzz louder than others? It kind of sounds like the bee is angry, but that’s not the case at all. They typically do this if the pollen is hard to reach, then the bee solves the problem by buzzing loudly, and thereby create a vibration to make the pollen fall down so the she can reach it. A clever solution!
A closer look at an unfurling fiddlehead fern frond
This seven-spot ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata) has found the best spot in the park to enjoy the spring! Beautiful blossom and plenty to eat 🙂
The name “ladybug” was coined by European farmers who prayed to the Virgin Mary when pests began eating their crops. After ladybugs came and wiped out the invading insects, the farmers named them “beetle of Our Lady”. This was later shortened to “lady beetle” and “ladybug”.
Two pictures of a small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), a colourful Eurasian butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. I took these pictures today on the “PEN island” outside Amsterdam.
Week 12! Little blue spring flowers, they’re called Chionodoxa but are also known as “Glory-of-the-snow”. In Sweden we call them (translated) “Spring Stars”, which I think is a very nice name 🙂
Week 11: The first cherry blossoms of the year! 🙂
Tiny patterns in nature, only a few centimeters tall. Nothing special, but nice to look at I think 🙂
Yesterday I saw my first bee of the year, and not just any bee – I think she’s unusually beautiful, and look how happy she is! 🙂 Covered in fresh pollen from a crocus, just what she needed after the winter.
Slowly it’s getting warmer.. Week 10 now and here in Amsterdam we can enjoy some spring flowers already 🙂
I took these pictures this afternoon –
(1) Lent lily (Narcissus pseudonarcissus)
(2) Christmas rose (Helleborus niger)