Hornet kills and dismembers a bee
Taken by Elaine
Six-spotted burnet moth
A sculptural growth
A delightful walk in Richmond Park early this afternoon, in bright sun, with particularly vibrant insect life. Passing by a large clump of ragwort, which I hadn’t realised was so toxic to horses (I looked it up when I got back), we stopped to watch the bees and other insects enjoying the blossoms.
I saw a large hornet, quartering the ragwort, inspecting bees and other potential victims. Then it pounced on one and, in short order bore it down to the ground, killing it and stripping off its wings. Soon predator and prey were aloft and away.
I remember allowing a very large hornet to sit on my arm in Turkey a few years back, off the Lycian coast. Somehow I don’t feel threatened by them, but I’m glad I’m not a bee.
Many dragonflies and damselflies about, several mating. And the grasses now have that wonderful reddish hue, which is a glory to see ruffled in the breeze.
As we walked west towards the Richmond Gate, a passing dog put up a beautifully coloured sparrowhawk. Its owner asked whether we thought it was a kestrel and I said I thought not: it was only when I looked it up later that I realised what we had seen.
Have been trying out my new Leica D-Lux 6 in various conditions – and so far very happy with the results. But I suspect I need to spend a lot more time with the manual to get the best results.