Hidden from the naked eye

IMG_E4071 The moment of pupation. Monarch caterpillar transforming into a chrysalis. Image: Su Leslie 2017

Macro photography truly does change the way it’s possible to see the world; focusing in on tiny details unobserved by the naked eye, and saving them as so many pixels on a computer chip.

IMG_E5246 Emerging butterfly. The fully formed Monarch butterfly breaks free. Image: Su Leslie 2017
IMG_E5376 All that remains of the Monarch’s chrysalis stage.. Image: Su Leslie 2017

From the life-cycle of a monarch caterpillar to the fine hairs on a bee’s body, what seemed hidden is revealed.

IMG_E5189 Bee and blossom. Image: Su Leslie 2017

Posted to Hidden | One Word Sunday, hosted by Debbie at Travel with Intent.



Making a feast of the garlic chive flowers. Image: Su Leslie 2018

Last autumn, a large clump of garlic chives in my garden flowered prolifically and proved incredibly popular with the neighbourhood bees.


Bee buffet. Image: Su Leslie 2018

I spent part of one afternoon mesmerised by the sheer number buzzing around the flowers, and trying to capture the scale of the feast with my camera. Photos just don’t do it justice, and I didn’t think to switch to video mode.

Less enjoyable, but no less fascinating, last year I watched a preying mantis make short work of a monarch caterpillar. It really was a bit gruesome, but of course not all of nature’s creatures are as attractive as bees.


Preying mantis devouring Monarch caterpillar. Image: Su Leslie 2017

Or perhaps vegetarianism is easier to watch.

Posted to the RagTag Daily Prompt | feast

DP Photo Challenge: prolific

Prolific. Both the chive flowers themselves, and the bees feasting on their pollen. Shot of seven bees on white garlic chive blossom. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Prolific. Both the chive flowers themselves, and the bees feasting on their pollen. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Our local bees seem to really love pollen from the garlic chive flowers. I guess the prolificacy of one encourages that of the other.

This week the Daily Post Challenge is to interpret prolific. And since it’s Friday, how better to do that than with flowers.

Seven day black & white challenge: day 1

Black and white close-up shot of bee feeding on pollen. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Hard at work; I know the feeling. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Both Elsie at Ramblings of a Writer, and Lucile at Sights and Insights invited me to join this challenge, and I offer apologies to both for taking so long to get started.

So here we are.

“Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day.”

I invite Janet at This, That and the Other Thing to come along if she would like to.


Regular random: five minutes with some lavender, a bee and the hope of new beginnings

Close up shot of bee on lavender stalk. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Lavender lunch. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Signs of spring are everywhere this week; from new growth on the fig tree to plum blossom and a huge increase in the number of bees around. This one was very busy enjoying lavender.

The images for this week’s Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) were all shot at Savage Memorial Park on Bastion Point in Auckland.

Savage Memorial is the burial place and monument to Michael Joseph Savage, New Zealand’s first Labour Prime Minister — and one of the country’s best loved leaders. He died in office in 1940, having led the government that established our country’s welfare state — now largely dismantled by successive neo-liberal governments.

Tomorrow there will be a general election in New Zealand. Growing inequality, increasing poverty, declining child health and the highest youth suicide rate in the developed world are all issues that have come to the fore in this campaign, and there is real hope that by tomorrow evening we may have a new government. One committed to the values of compassion and justice that informed Savage’s Labour government in the 1930s.

Spring is, after all, the season of hope.

Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist. 

If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!