Macro photography at the Allotment
I haven't been up to the park at all this week with my camera (although I've been up there on my bike for a spin). We had a severe heatwave here in the UK on Monday and Tuesday (along with vast swathes of Europe, who are having to deal with some terrible wild fires thanks to the high temperatures). It's something I'll probably want to discuss another time, but I will say that it was pretty scary, as the UK should never hit 40 degrees. Our little house was built in 1880, and it is not designed to stay cool in this sort of hot weather. It was a grim couple of days.
Although I haven't been to the park with my camera, I did have a wander around the allotment with my macro lens. I'm not sure if other countries have allotments, but here in London, they are IMO the holy grail of city living. A little oasis of calm. We put our names down for an allotment when we moved to south west London in 2014. It felt like we would never get to the top of the list, until we received notice in Feb 2020 that we were now eligible for an allotment plot.
Our first plot was tiny, and a little run down. But the beds were in good shape and we were very keen to get cracking. Little did we know that just over a month later, we would be in lockdown. Going to the allotment was still permitted under lockdown rules, as it was considered 'exercise'. I wasn't working and my husband was down to 4 day weeks, and we spent hours on our little allotment plot, planting everything we could think of. After a few months, it was looking amazing, and every day we would head home with armfuls of produce.
The plot, much as we loved it, was very small. We constantly ran out of space. So when we were offered a completely derelict, but much larger plot, we jumped at the opportunity. We took over the new plot in December 2021. Here's a phone snap of how it looked at the time.
And below, a recent phone photo taken at the beginning of June.
Quite a transformation. My husband did a LOT of work to get the rubbish cleared from the site. It was so much worse than we imagined. Plastic, carpet, fake grass, metal gates, a front door, piles of rubble and bricks, all buried under the overgrowth. In the end, a skip was required to remove all the junk. However, the hard work paid off. :)
So, on to the photos that I took with my macro lens. I LOVE how this bee is covered in pollen.
Yellow courgette. We have 2 of these plants, and currently we take home at least 1 courgette every day. :)
Lots of the plot holders grow lavender and other flowers to help the pollinators. This lavender was growing on the front of a neighbours plot, bordering the shared path. I believe that the butterfly is a large white.
Nigella flower seed heads
Sunflower flower bud.
Round Courgette (Tonda Di Piacenza)
A photo of our gooseberry bush, taken after Tuesday's 40 degrees record breaking temperature. It survived 38 degrees on Monday, was watered first thing on Tuesday morning, but by 8pm Tuesday evening, when we finally ventured out of the house, it had been transformed from a healthy bush, to being badly burned by the heat and the sun.
I feel so sorry for the farmers, who are having a tremendously difficult time in this dry and hot weather. It must be an absolute nightmare.
This week, I might head to Kew Gardens for more macro photography. Or head into London, or somewhere along the banks of the Thames...