Monday, January 12, 2009

21-Gum Salute

Lucky It Wasn’t A Sting Operation

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


There were plenty of bees buzzing industriously around these blooms on a tall, shady gum tree in Kings Park, Perth, last Sunday.

I should not have gone in close, but throwing caution to the winds, I stuck my head in between the branches in the interest of art.

I have a very strong memory of the pain (and the shame) of being stung on the butt in my childhood, when I took the advice of an older friend (who should have known better) and threw stones at a beehive in the garden of our home at 3 Dumayne Avenue.

Yes, that was on my mind when I went against my better judgement in Perth to take this shot. So I’m thinking – do I opt for safety and walk away from this one or do I tempt the worker bees and go for the shot?

No question about what my decision was going to be. Pink bearded blossoms around beautifully formed Australian gumnuts, framed against a graceful arc of the olive-green leaves won me over completely. A bee sting lasts for a few hours, but a splendid range of colour captured on camera lasts forever.

Right, honey?


Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.

33 comments:

lime said...

makes me giggle to think a 700 lb grizzly won't deter you but a couple of bees might. lol

lovely results for the risk taken ;)

squawmama said...

Good Morning David... What a beautiful picture of the flowers... Just wonderful. I have been in North Florida for the last two weeks and had horrible interent but were we are now is a lot better.... Still slow but I can stay on. Have a good one today!

(((HUGS)))
Donna

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Well, it was worth it, David. These are lovely!

Wishing you an evern lovelier Sunday...

Sheila :-)

Merisi said...

Congratulations on your successful no-sting-operation! :-)

One of my daughters' hand swelled into a frightening looking giant mess after a bee sting, so please practise safe photography whenever possible.

Craig Glenn said...

Great shots and I didn't feel a thing, so you did good!

Craig

lakeviewer said...

Cavid,

I just found your blog, through other blogs. I love the comment from your previous blog that you save all your stuff, even those pictures that are not 'right', to remind you that we can always improve. I will use that tip, and pass it on, if you don't mind. Thanks for super pictures, and interesting prose.

sixtyfivewhatnow.blogspot.com

Tammie Lee said...

Love that second image. So lively and lovely.

cheshire wife said...

We should not be surprised that the bees are attracted to such pretty flowers.

Gail said...

Amazing photography and amusing words.

Michelle said...

Hello David!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Your photographs are absolutely incredible! I was thinking of taking up photography, I may still. I believe there is a class locally that will be starting soon. :) Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

Michelle

Carletta said...

Thanks for going for it - it is indeed a beautiful shot!

Bee said...

What vibrant flowers! Thank for risking life and bum to bring us these beautiful images.

RuneE said...

Since Sting was/is one of my favourite artists ("Fragile" perhaps on the top of the list), I must confess that I look forward to take my new macro-lens bee hunting When we get the summer!

PS I don't grudge you those beautiful ones!

Arija said...

Love your pretty pink Gum blossom, will you be featuring gum nut babies as well?
David, Polo Club has quite a small flower head, no more than 2 1/2" diameter but so bright it lights up the garden.

Gill - That British Woman said...

lovely photo......

Gill in Canada

Lee said...

Lovely flowers, David! I had no idea that a gum tree had such beauty about it. Thanks for sharing.

Peace!

Sandi McBride said...

I'm so glad that you fought back the humiliation and got that shot. It's beautiful...and well worth a bee sting, right? Yellow Jackets are my fear. My sister Holly and I were walking to my Aunt's house on a country lane when I decided I wanted to go check out the wildflowers, pick some for her...I stepped into a Yellow Jacket nest built underground. I was stung about 145 times, my sister was stung about 80 times trying to save my sorry butt! It's a wonder we both lived and lived without bee phobias...I guess God wasn't done with us yet!
Sandi

Raven said...

Lovely shots of the gum tree flowers blossoming. My photos of blossoms never turn out so well!

Cherie said...

What a warrior you are to risk danger to complete your mission. And what a beautiful result. :)

simon said...

great photos!

jinksy said...

Only comment has to be 'Boom Boom' - but perhaps you have to live in England to understand it...

Aisha said...

This looks like a flower blooming to become a fruit. Maybe it's a different tree but it's really beautiful!

Darla said...

You brave soul you!

Louise said...

It was worth the risk.

Barbara said...

I can see why the bees would be attracted to this flower. I wonder if they smell as lovely as they look. Smiles B

Luiz Santilli Jr said...

Hi David

Marvelous flower!
Fantastic capture!
Thanks for sharing these fantastic takes!

Luiz

Annie said...

Very clever!

They always take a lovely photo, those pink gum flowers don't they?
My Mum had them growing in her garden, and I could never resist taking a photo every time I visited! I don't remember having to worry about too many bees luckily!

Annie

Leora said...

So fun to see a pretty flower I've never before seen.

Amanda said...

beautiful color and detail. Is this part of the bottle brush family?

Paz said...

Oh, my! Stung on the backside. That's not pleasant at all. What a memory.

This is a very unique-looking flower.

Paz

Hilary said...

Ha! I had my comment all set to type and glanced over to the left to see that Lime was thinking the exact same thing. Lovely shots though :)

Jack and Joann said...

Your photo looks pretty in pink.

i beati said...

stunning I'm making arrangements in my mind sk