Bellis – A short etymology

Bellis is the scientific name for a family of plants that include the common daisy. The latter derives its name from the saxon word “days eye” which describes the opening of the petals to show the bright yellow centre (eye) in the mornings, to closing them at dusk. The expression “fresh as a daisy” derives from the fact that the flower appears fresh and rested every morning.

One legend has it that the Bellis is named after a nymph or dryad called Belides. According to legend, Belides was dancing in the woods with her lover Ephigeus, and attracted the unwanted attention of Vertumnus, the god of seasons, gardens, fruits and orchards. In order to avoid Vertumnus and protect her lover Ephigeus, she turned herself into the flower we know as the daisy.

Bellis

Here’s hooking at you!

Here's hooking at you!
Articum sp. fruiting body.

Burdock (Genus Arctium) seeds with tenacious hooks that latch on to clothes and skin (I’m still getting some off my fleece jacket!). Traditionally dispersed by cattle. Apparently the roots of this thistle family are edible. Lots of medicinal properties according to Wikipedia.

Camera: Nikon D80 on full manual setting
Exposure: 1/400
Aperture: f6.3
ISO: 200
Lens: Sigma 105mm Macro.
Magnification Ratio: 1:2

The joys of spring

Dare I say spring might finally be on its way? After a long and bitterly cold winter here in the United Kingdom, and not to mention a few false starts along the way, it looks like spring might finally be here to stay.

A delicate Narcissus flower

Glorious sunshine, blue skies and the signs of growth and rejuvenation. Daffodils colour the landscape in hues of yellows, oranges and white. This narcissus typifies the beauty of spring and belies activity that is obvious in nature. I shot this picture at a high shutter speed with the aperture stopped at f8.0 to keep the background dark. As it was the flower was conveniently highlighted by a lone ray of sunlight through the hedge.

Ladybird beetles show signs of renewed activity. The browns, greys give way to reds, greens and other colours resplendent of spring. And I’ve been out in the spring sunshine, in trying to capture the feeling of joy (and relief) that the days of shivering are a memory of times past and yet to come in the distant future.

A ladybird beetle basking on a oregano leaf.

This picture was shot with the use of a 10mm extension tube with a Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro lens. The image has been cropped very slightly to remove extraneous distractions.

Surely, with so much happening around, spring is surely here to stay? This yellow-orange daffodil was shot in my garden. In order to get this angle, I had to sprawl on the ground (my muddy jeans bear witness!). 1/200 f6.3, 105mm f2.8 Sigma Macro lens.

A yellow-orange daffodil