Earth Marvels

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If ever I were to begin to pin down my beliefs, then I might say they relate to earth, the planet, the universe, the creative forces that we humans scarcely understand, although that doesn’t stop us from telling ourselves plenty of stories about them. Indeed, throughout our short existence on the planet, it seems we have always told such tales, and it’s probably worth considering how many of them have proved false and fanciful.

And so when it comes to taking photographs, these are the kinds of thoughts that may be drifting through my mind. I mean, really – existentially – how do you explain this peacock butterfly – its form, colours and intricacies of behaviour? Of course for taxonomic purposes, entomologists may have a great deal to say on all these aspects, but in the natural scheme of things this organism simply IS, albeit occupying its own very particular evolutionary time and space.

Through my human eyes, then,  I see it as a marvel, because I also judge it to be beautiful and so worthy of my full attention. It is also very pleasing, exhilarating even, to see it, take its photo and then to share it. So in this sense it is also a celebration. At the same time I note that I am, as most people would be, uneager to similarly celebrate housefly larvae, dust mites, garden slugs or sooty mould; yet they all have their place in the biosphere. All of which is to say we humans are very selective when it comes to the things we ‘see’ and don’t ‘see’. I also think it’s worth thinking about this proclivity when it comes to our earth stories.

For now though, more celebratory earth snaps from today’s August garden. It’s bee and bug heaven out there…

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And yesterday I discovered a newcomer to the garden. This is one of a host of tiny bees presently foraging on the tansy flowers over the fence in the guerrilla garden. They are less than a half inch/centimetre long with banded abdomens of yellow or bluey-grey tones. I think they are a Colletes species/plasterer bees and therefore fairly recent arrivals in the UK.

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Lens-Artists: What’s your photographic groove?  Anne at Slow Shutter Speed  wants to know. Please pop over to her blog.

37 thoughts on “Earth Marvels

  1. I think it was Thoreau who said a weed is a flower that’s yet to be appreciated. The butterfly’s beauty is explainable scientifically (in ways that are themselves beautiful) yet it’s essence remains ineffable – at least to us, who are beautiful and ineffable in our own ways.

  2. I love your photography groove! That peacock butterfly is beautiful. You’re right, it’s much harder to see beauty in some species than others, but there IS beauty in the incredible patterns of interdependency we see in nature.

  3. As yes…earth. I’m with you. I love that you find value in “giving what is going on” your full attention. I can picture you squatting down watching the new bees. They are quite fun, aren’t they? My grandkids were terrified of bees, but when I took a moment to show how they were doing work on my lemon and lime trees, they were intrigued, and look for them now. Months later, to pick the fruit was extra. Beautiful photos. Donna

  4. Earth marvels…of course you put it exactly right. That’s where I am as well. And we all should be. If/when everything is lost we are unable to recreate it. We have to love and take care of our planet. Every day, every minute, every second. Your words and photography are celebrating what we have been given.
    Love the peacock standing out in its beauty on the flower, love the new bees – I don’t think we have them up here though. Thank you for a lovely post.

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