Saturday, August 12, 2006

Nature Loves a Hexagon

basalt tiles at giants causewayThis grey Saturday morning, Sam and I were advised to get out of Londonderry ahead of the Ulstermen's march, so we went off to the Giant's Causeway, in North Antrim. It's just a short boat ride from Scotland, they say, and the location where some of the retreating Spanish Armada met the rocks. Please witness one of the first things you see when you walk down to the water: a vast expanse of hexagons, almost as regular as honeycomb.

Some say that there is a special place in Hell where people are forced to look at other peoples' vacation photos, but you should not suffer too much because our camera ran out of battery strength early.

bumblebee on what might be scots lovageThe environment thereabouts is rocky and almost alpine, but there were still several kinds of flowers in bloom, and bees working them. The temperature was only around 16 Celsius, or 60 Fahrenheit, with a steady wind, but the native bees at least were on the job. The bee in this picture is working what might be Scot's Lovage, though I am somewhat unconvinced of this plant identification. This bee is displaying a fine set of cream-colored pollen packs on her back legs, just below the wings.

One interesting thing about bees in cool weather is that, as cold blooded beings, they are slower and less prone to extra activity than they are in hot temps. It's much easier to get a photo on a cold day. Also, in a situation like this, you can actually reach out and pet the bees. I doubt they enjoy it, but they are quite fuzzy and no harm is done by a gentle (and brief) stroke from a finger.

1 comment:

Mark said...

dont forget this