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Herald of life & dearth (36)
Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
Let me tell you about the birds & the bees & the flowers & the trees, & the moon up above, & a thing called . . . a herald. Now I think I have posted & written too much already on TE on all of these, so a little bit on this fascinating language called English. A herald was originally the official messenger on the King’s business, conveying messages between sovereigns. I am just the herald; Mother Nature has already given us a tentative Mona Lisa Smile while dispatching her message of coming spring, here in the lower part of our world, while most of you in the Northern Hemisphere may have seen her teeth barred with impending cold. A soft smile & barred teeth, the flower & the sting of the bee! Now that Spring has sprung, with a untimely cold front & a lazy wind blowing for the last 24 hours, I confirm what I have always held to be true, spring sorts of nudge at the door here in SA, then the winter retaliates a few times with a cold front, seldom lasting longer than a week, normally not later than into October, & suddenly, it is summer. So, why this longwinded official welcoming to spring?; the reason being that honeybees & flowers are part of our universal cultural icons of procreation, love and spring. This is also why someone once said : “God created memory so that we can have roses in winter”. I sincerely hope you will have beautiful memories & photographs of summer, but that autumn will bring you even more joy & shooting opportunities. I fondly remember a bouquet of beautiful leaves Robert posted last year on TE. This bee is burying herself here into the heart of the Strelitzia flower, gathering nectar. The flowers can get quite sticky with the nectar. Strelitzias are indigenous SA flowers & also called the Bird of Paradise flower. See, I just can’t keep away from the birds. There are 5 species of Strelitzia, 3 less than ± 2m high & 2 growing up to 8 m or so. I have maybe 10 of these plants in my garden, & from around May until into September, they are constantly in bloom. The late afternoon shines right onto 3 of them right at the front door, so I grabbed this shot the other day as I was walking past. It is deliberately cropped tight to form a more abstract image, with the bee zeroing in to the flower. This was a fun shot for me, but it also conveys some of the feeling & atmosphere of spring, the bright colours & the burrowing bee hinting at new life to come.
ISO 200 @ -0,3 EV; Nikon D70; Sigma 70-200 F2.8 @ Focal length 200 mm; 1/320 @ F8; Aperture Priority Mode; no flash, Pattern Metering Mode; handheld; cropping all round; little USM & some Hue & saturation brightness; reduced to Site size.

Altered Image #1

Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
The full Flower
Edited by:Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)

I will someday post a proper picture, these anre very difficult to shot.