The sunrise was glorious this
morning and I’m standing under a powder blue sky, speechless at the
array of flowers spread before me. Dew still clings to their vibrantly
coloured petals as they lift themselves toward the sun. The plantings
in this unique heritage garden first captured my attention―all the
favourites of a nineteenth century formal garden. Based on an original
design from the 1840s, masses of snapdragons, forget-me-nots, scarlet
impatients and brown-eyed Susans are offset by tall stalks of
hollyhocks and larkspur. Beds of roses and French lavender perfume the
air. Several large shrubs together with mature elms and towering oaks
define the height of its scale. But I’m not here only to gaze at this
lovingly tended spread on the D’Entrecasteau Peninsula, in Tasmania’s
Lower Snug. I’m here on a mission with my camera, ready to capture
photos of these beauties in their early morning freshness.
Later I indulge in the
pleasure of viewing and editing the morning’s work on my computer
screen. To my surprise other visitors, nature’s miniature helpers, also
appear within the plants to feast on their sweet nectar and gather
pollen. One little ant descends along the stem of a passionfruit
blossom, its tiny body resembling three gleaming black beads. Nearly
hidden from sight in the cup of a pink lily nestle two small ladybugs.
The first buzzing sound of arriving bees had become a roar as they
swarmed over the face of each flower, busily gathering pollen for the
return flight home. It’s an absolute delight to peer down into this
universe as one insect after another comes into view. Each group is
uniquely different from all the others in this kingdom. And like the
flowers each one is exquisitely made.
By Mary Mageau
My camera has captured them at
work. These small creatures all labour tirelessly, displaying a total
dedication to their purpose. They toil energetically―moving with
feverish speed―pausing only to connect with one another by brushing
their antenna or performing a little dance. They keep the environment
clean by carrying away decaying plant material and dead insects. They
propagate the plants that feed us while their spread of pollen
maintains our rich biodiversity. Their bodies also provide food for
larger birds and mammals. They are as interesting to observe as the
beauty of the flowers that shelter and sustain them.
I’ve discovered that insects are a joy to behold and to study.
God bless our world of creatures both great and small.