Camerra at the ready for bird watching
Cameras at the ready.

Owning a small ‘point and shoot’ camera has transformed the way I look at  and appreciate my Blue Mountains  garden. The play of light, the beauty of a detail suddenly observed. It means that my ‘matron’s rounds’ are slower, but  they are also much more rewarding. Who knew that so many tiny creatures shared my world?

I could have purchased  a bigger, more expensive camera, but I want one I can carry in my pocket.  I would even use my phone, except that I like to photograph  birds high in the trees.  I’m a writer/gardener, not a photographer.

Even a common and normally reviled creature  such as the cabbage moth is beautiful (as long as it’s not  depositing eggs on your cabbages).

Moth on star jasmine
Moth on star jasmine
Butterfly captured by my camera.
So pretty.
My camera captures a butterfly in the Blue Mountains.
Sipping Star Jasmine

Oh the time I have ‘wasted’ chasing bees;

Bee on protea captured by my camera.
The protea  certainly attracts the bees.

My camera also makes me appreciate the intricacy of Australian native flowers. I only know that the next two photos are of  ground-cover grevilleas, the name of the varieties escapes me.

Bee on grevillea.
Bee on grouncover grevillea
An amazing  flower; grevillea enhanced by its bee brooch.
Bee on seaside daisy flower
Small is beautiful to this Australian native bee.

When you begin to inspect plants more closely,  alarming problems become apparent….such as aphids on roses! I hope this ladybird takes lots  of the wretches home  to feed her children.

Ladybird on rose leaf captured by my camera
Fly away home and return with your aphid loving family please.

Dragonflies are difficult to capture with a tiny camera, but sometimes they co-operate. It helps if they are tipsy on lavender nectar.

So elegant.

I wonder if the following, more slender ones should be called damselflies?

Dragonfly on Japanese Mape
A graceful ‘dancer’ on the maple.

Oh my, those eyes!

Dragonfly on daphne bush
Resting on a daphne bush
Harlequin bug on lavender
Harleqin bug on English lavender.

The cicada is the noisy symbol of summer. It’s normally rare for me to find one, as the birds gobble them up. However, in this strange year of 2020 they are everywhere.

See what I mean about the birds? A lightening strike by a maggie.

Cicada snack for a magpie.
A little snack.

I have no idea what the bug pictured below is, but I hope it loves aphids the way hover flies and ladybirds do!

This tiny spider was up very early to start work on its web. I hope I don’t blunder through it  later.

Tiny spider through my camera lens.
Hard at work.

I think the web below was made by a St Andrew’s Cross spider.

Spider web captured by my little camera.
Captured in the morning light.

Blackheath is famous for its misty mornings, which can transform simple rose leaves into something quite remarkable.

Rose leaves in the mist captured by my camera.

Take my advice, fellow gardeners, and put  a little camera  in your pocket whenever  you venture outside. It will open up a whole new world.

Fungi might not sound as beautiful as dragonflies and butterflies, but I now go hunting for them with my  camera every autumn. TO SEE  A FEW, CLICK HERE.


  1. All so vital to the cycle of life, especially the bees. My own tiny garden is planted with wildlife in mind, and supports a huge number of birds, insects, butterflies, hedgehogs (slugs & snails though we don’t mention them!), and especially bees. The bees are of the utmost importance, because if we don’t encourage and look after a healthy bee population, then we as humans will cease to exist.

    • Pauline

      You can see why I’m obsessed with bees and honey, Marcia. Think it might be best to buy local honey from the Farmers’ Market though.

  2. Such beautiful photos. You must be very proud of editor Des!

    • Pauline

      Well, sometimes I am, Carol, when he is not sitting on the wood pile smoking.

  3. Wonderful photos Pauline.
    Thanks for sharing


  4. I enjoyed reading of your garden visitors. Sadly, in my part of USA people are wondering why bees are dying out. I have only a few visiting my garden now. Some say that it’s the herbicides and insecticides used to kill the pests that come into a town garden. There are so many ‘green’ alternatives to use that I think there should be some kind of regulation as to what we can use on our garden plants. Even the butterflies are appearing less and less. I fuss over a plant when I see a bee exploring its blooms. Some people travel miles into the countryside to buy natural honey from an environmentally friendly bee keeper, who doesn’t use pesticides but allows the bees to buzz around his organically growing plants. There’s even talk that much of the shop-bought honey has additives to make it taste like honey from the bush. It’s great to be able to live so close to nature in your region.

    • Pauline

      I think there is a nasty disease that wipes out whole hives, Heather, especially in the US. I’ve often thought of having a hive here, but it’s not that simple really. I agree, I never use chemicals in the garden. If a plant is not tough enough to survive I grow something else.

  5. Some beautiful photos! It wasn’t until I bought my first digital camera about 10 years ago (and could snap away to my heart’s content without worrying about running out of film), that I truly appreciated what was in my garden. I also found it very handy to snap unknown insects and birds, then go inside and consult my trusty guides to help identify them.

    • Pauline

      Hi Christine. Oh yes, digital cameras are incredible. Remember having to take your film to the chemist to be developed and finding that half the photos hadn’t come out at all? I’m old enough to remember the box brownie!

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