Prickly Lettuce

Hello people, hope you are having a lovely week. I’ve been in a bit of photography slump as I’m looking for new things so you never get sick of the bees. I really miss having the birds on my front fence – I don’t put seed out for them at the moment as the paddocks and roadsides have ample seed supplies. The weeds have flourished this year with the regular rainfall. And it is a weed that I’m sharing today. (I still put out water for the birds but they visit when the light is poor or when I’m still abed.)


While walking this morning – back building up to 10,000 daily steps – I wondered about this weed in my garden. I normally pull them before they reach this stage and I was surprised to see the dandelion-like seed heads. I discovered they are known as prickly lettuce and are the ancestors of all lettuces. Gosh, I wouldn’t fancy eating them, but the young leaves are edible.



Most plants with milky sap are poisonous. These have milky sap and a horrible smell when you brush against them.



Maybe if I was starving!

Thanks for looking. Do have a good day.



Last year, I purchased a potted Magnolia from the supermarket. It is a little frazzled about the edges from the heat and I’ve been watching the two flower buds with some anxiety – sure they would wither and harden. A few days ago, the first one began to loosen and, yesterday, the flower opened on one side. Its lemon scent is heavenly.


the lopsided flower with stamens fallen in a sepal.


stamens scooped in a sepal

I didn’t know about sepals until I was checking Wikipedia to make sure I was looking at stamens. On a magnolia, sepals are indistinguishable from petals so I’m guessing they are the first three at the base.

I moved overhead and looked down and saw more stamens piled in a second sepal. When I came back with the camera, the culprit was there, cavorting amid the stamens with pleasure.


cavorting in loose stamens


looking for juicy bits


yummy yum yum

Curious, I cautiously moved the stem so I could see the heart of the flower.


red stamen scars and curly topped stigmas and a bee, of course

As I watched, this bee took out another stamen and it fell down to join the others.

Today, the flower looks like it spent our very warm night in a pot of tea. Just as well I hadn’t planted the poor thing. I’ll see how the second flower fares in another position.

Inside the flower, the curly bits are gone – replaced by what looked like some spiky red things to my nearly 62-year-old eyes. Apparently, I have a colourful fruit to look forward to. There are several little green bugs lurking inside the flower, too, so I know what my next photography session will be.

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to have a magnolia tree.

On writing…

I have moved past the revision block I’ve had for weeks. I’ve been stuck on lesson 7 and it’s an important one to make sure everything in my novel’s setting makes sense. I had trouble identifying the different things I needed to see during a read-through.

I doubted myself to the stage where I thought let’s just chuck in this whole being a writer thing.  But then I thought of my sister and the promise I made when she died. I will finish this. I will make this dream come true. Of course, I also thought of the money I had paid out to learn to revise in a productive way. I thank my lucky stars I chose to publish on Wattpad because I know some people already love my story despite its shortcomings. To paraphrase Holly Lisle –  it’s already as crappy as it’s going to get.

So, after lots of false starts, some tears, and piles of crumpled worksheets, I decided to do the analysis differently. I put the settings and other elements on index cards instead of using the worksheets. Down to business,finally, and I found myself filling out the worksheets instead of the cards. Huh? Go figure. I know I’m not filling them out exactly right, but the lesson is going to work how it should as I already see how my story start hasn’t carried through to the end as well as it could have.

Progress, at last. A little daunting, as I have quite a few settings and magical explanations to think about and 91 scenes to explore.

Thanks for being part of my journey.  ❤

Flowers, Taniel

My first magnolia flower

Bees & Bugs, Flowers

Sunny insects

I breathed a big sigh of relief this morning when I got my Nikon D3000 to work in the Guide Mode after I selected single release for the shutter.

Obviously I have done something to the settings which will not reset with the reset button. It might have something to do with white balance as the EXIF data on the photos I took today reported it was doing something unexpected.

You may recall that my troubles began when I began my adventurous experimenting with manual settings.


Anyway, I had a bit of a snap-happy time and then had a hard time choosing what to share. I settled on these as they reflect my mood – sunny, with fuzzy edges.


These lovely flowers are borne on a tree in my neighbour’s yard. I love the play of light and shadow on the insect and the little flowers.


I cropped the bee from a larger image and it’s heavily sharpened using GIMP. I’m including the featured image again – I love the tendril/leaf thing at the lower edge.


Tomorrow, I’ll show you a speckled-eyed drone hoverfly.

Thanks for looking. Do have a good week!  🙂



A puny gerbera saluting the morning sun. (Nikon D3000)   🙂