Giant stick insects and Victoria amazonica flower


Victoria amazonica bud, 1 August 2015

On 1 August 2015, after the earlier flowers and bees of the botanical garden then, to the Victoria amazonica hothouse. This giant water lily species did not have a flower yet, but it did have a bud, as this photo shows.

Giant prickly stick insect, adult, 1 August 2015

Then, the next hothouse. On a smallish Eucalyptus tree in a pot in there, an adult giant prickly stick insect from Australia.

Giant prickly stick insect, juvenile, 1 August 2015

But there were not only adults. This species reproduces here, so there were young ones on that tree as well, like this one.

Giant prickly stick insect, small juvenile, 1 August 2015

This photo shows the smallest one of the new generation of giant prickly stick insects, while feeding.

Botanical garden flowers and bees


Flat sea holly, 1 August 2015

On 1 August 2015, to the botanical garden. First, the part closest to the entrance: a reconstruction of the garden as it was in the early seventeenth century, the time of botanist Clusius, founder of the garden. In one patch, flat sea holly flowers.

Honeybees on flat sea holly flower, 1 August 2015

These flowers attract bees and hoverflies.

Honeybees still on flat sea holly flower, 1 August 2015

So do Centaurea alpina flowers next to it. They attract both male and female red-tailed bumblebees.

Rosebay willowherb, 1 August 2015

Also in the same patch: rosebay willowherb.

The rosebay willowherb flowers attract red-tailed bumblebees; and also large earth bumblebees.

Brown knapweed with red-tailed bumblebee female, 1 August 2015

Finally, in this Clusius garden patch: the purple flowers of brown knapweed, with also their red-tailed bumblebees.

Further in the botanical garden, near the hothouse, a peacock butterfly on butterfly-bush flowers. Too far away for a macro lens.

Bladder campion, 1 August 2015

Bladder campion flowers near the old astronomical observatory.

Artichoke flower with honeybee, 1 August 2015

Then, big artichoke flowers. They attract honeybees. And red-tailed bumblebees; including young queens, recently flown away from the nest. They are about twice the size of worker females and males.

Behind the beehive of the botanical garden, a young dunnock on the path.

Saw-wort flower with honeybee, 1 August 2015

Saw-wort flowers attract honeybees.

Saw-wort flower with honeybees, 1 August 2015

In the pond, carp swimming. A small red-eyed damselfly couple in tandem.

Stay tuned, as next we went to the Victoria amazonica hothouse.

Mother, child red deer at dinner


This video shows a female red deer and her fawn in the Veluwe region in the Netherlands. They feed on blueberry bushes.

Hummingbird hawkmoth visits flowers, video


This slow motion video from Nijmegen city in Gelderland province in the Netherlands shows a hummingbird hawkmoth (and a bee) visiting flowers.

Recorded on 28 June 2015.

New orchid discovery on Schiermonnikoog island


Northern marsh orchid, photo by Hans Dekker

On 25 July 2015, Hans Dekker published his new book, Orchideeën van Noord-Nederland (Orchids of the northern Netherlands).

He had to make a last-minute addition. On 28 June this year, Dekker discovered on Schiermonnikoog island a northern marsh orchid, a species, new for the Netherlands.

Rare mushroom discovery in Dutch park


Coprinopsis strossmayeri

The Dutch Mycological Society reported on 15 July 2015 that scores of rare fungi had been discovered in the Dr. Jac. P. Thijssepark in Amstelveen.

They were Coprinopsis strossmayeri; which had been known from only six places in the Netherlands.

Coprinopsis strossmayeri is rare in Armenia as well. It was discovered there for the first time in 2010-2011.

Radioactive daisies after Fukushima, Japan


Deformed daisies in Fukushima, Japan

In 1976, Dutch singer-songwriter Fon Klement recorded a song called Elke Madelief, Radio-Aktief; meaning Every daisy radioactive.

Today, in Japan, that song becomes sad reality.

From Yahoo! News Canada:

Deformed daisies from Fukushima disaster site gain Internet fame

By Lisa Reddy

Monday, 13 July, 2015

Photos of flowers on Twitter and Instagram may be as commonplace as sunsets and selfies, but one Japanese amateur photographer has captured something a bit more unique than a beautiful bloom.

Twitter user @san_kaido posted a photo of mutated yellow daisies last month, found in Nasushiobara City, around 70 miles from Fukushima, the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster.  The photos show daisies with fused yellow centres and with the petals growing out the side of the flower.

The daisies are not the first deformed plants found after the disaster. In 2013, the Daily Mail posted photos of mutated vegetables and fruit, attributing the apparent abnormalities to high levels of radiation found in the groundwater.

The daisy photos come four years after the Fukushima Daichii Nuclear Power Plant meltdown which was caused after a devastating earthquake and tsunami knocked out three of the plant’s nuclear reactors.