Buzzing a Crocus Says Spring is Here


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We interrupt The Best Gardening Advice Series for a brief post for a friend. The gardening series resumes on Sunday night, but catch up if you have missed any.

I have offered two lenses for sale to a friend and fellow Nikon user. She is interested in a lens that she can use for both far away, like my birds and closeup like my bees, so I went out today in the backyard to see what photo subjects were out and about.


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It looks like Spring has finally arrived, but we had a nice frost this morning to say, “hold on partner, not so fast.” A few blooms have awakened for Spring, with many more just barely a bump in the soil. It will be awhile before the tulips tower and the hyacinths blazon blue.


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Sorry birds, the feeders come down this week, so nice of you to pick them clean for me.


But, back to the point of the post. I have offered my Nikon 55-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 G ED lens to my friend for first dibs. Why? Because I am looking to use my FX lenses more and while having this and the 18-135mm, I have become too dependent on using my old “friends”. In fact, most blog shots came from these two lenses for the most part.


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I own two macro lenses so there is little need for either of these lenses to do that work anymore. The 80-400mm needs to get more use and that will only happen if the 300mm finds a new home.

I have taken far better photos with these two lenses previously, but thought she needed to see recent shots to know that the lenses are still in good working order.


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It is pretty much a given it will take a bit of practice to get shots like these. Not because of ability, but because as with all new lenses, practice is necessary. I pushed the lens to 300mm on all shots but two. Why this is important, is that most lenses are not going to be their sharpest at either extreme of focal length. This way it is easier to see the sharpness of full zoom at 300mm.

She had asked me if these lenses have “good glass.” Well, as I explained, both are consumer lenses and if the quality she sees in my posts are good enough, well, you can’t beat having the ability and versatility of a 300mm zoom.


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I used the lenses on the Nikon D80, more comparable to the camera she owns. Hope you like the shots of early bees.


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After this sales pitch, I will resume The Best Gardening Advice. Four more posts in the series are coming.


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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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51 Responses to Buzzing a Crocus Says Spring is Here

  1. These captures are nothing short of perfection. Glorious!

  2. Love that one of the bee flying through the air toward the crocus. We have crocus blooming, but I haven’t seen any bees yet.

  3. Photography is such a natural extension of gardening. There is somehting about trying to capture a little beauty, a little bit of “too perfect”, that fits right into the mind of a gardener. Thank you so much for sharing, I really enjoyed the bee photos.

  4. yourothermotherhere says:

    What wonderful photos. You definitely know your stuff.

  5. orchidmantis says:

    Beautiful, beautiful pictures!!! I hope some day I can take pictures of such quality!! (I JUST started playing with a real camera–a few weeks ago, actually.)
    Also–I hope this isn’t me being too forward or overstepping my boundaries, if it is, I’m sorry!–but if your friend doesn’t end up buying your lens, I’ve been looking to buy EXACTLY that lens since I got this camera, so I may be very happy to buy it from you (if I can afford it!!).
    (Again, I’m sorry if I’m speaking out of my place!!) Love the photos–especially the bee ones!!

  6. Wow! I’m having trouble finding other words. The Crocuses and Snowdrops are finally blooming here, too. They went from budless to pregnant buds to bright purple closed flowers today. I expect they will be open cerulean gems of beauty tomorrow morning. No pollinators yet, though. I think your lens (and definitely the photographer) is working just fine. 😉

    • Things happen fast here. We get a few days in the 50’s and things start happening, then we get snow and all looks sad. It is the time of day that I see the bees. Late in the day for some reason.

  7. A.M.B. says:

    Gorgeous shots! I love crocuses, especially this year, when they were just about the only cheery thing outside as winter lingered well beyond the spring equinox.

  8. Been saving the posts to read this wekend when I saw this…no bees here but the peepers are awake…still been too cold of late for bees but perhaps in the next couple of days…lots of rain coming so little gardening…it hardly feels like spring and I have yet to get out in the garden at all except for a few shots of the blooms of iris reticulata and crocus…I spied some daffs and hyacinths gettings ready to bloom in a few days and even a few grape hyacinths…love the shots

    • I had a few bees even a few weeks ago, but there was nothing in the garden for them. I just came back from a talk on bees by a local expert and she said we are in drought already this year. I am going to check her stats with Cornell, but think she might be right. We have not had rains yet.

  9. minqan says:

    I love the gorgeous spring shots. Wonderfully captured! 🙂

  10. Andrea says:

    Hi Donna, i’ve not been here for a while, missed some posts. We have a few birds here but my 40-150mm can’t get very clear focus at 150mm. So i am leaving the birds and long distance subjects and try looking for the small critters for the 35mm macro. That bee on the white crocus and yellow anthers is so nice.

  11. Bill S says:

    Brilliant photographs Donna, I find that I am using my P510 quite a lot set on “macro close up” but it does tend to make me forget about my D90.

    • I am the opposite. My P510 only comes out when I go to places where I could lose of damage the better cameras and lenses. But I have to admit that the P510 performed really well when I was in St. Lucia. What it did with hummingbirds astounded me. My better lenses only would have been a bit sharper, but much faster.

  12. I’d buy the camera and lenses if only someone would teach me how to use them. 🙂 Love, love, love, your photos.

  13. Nice hellebore, but I really love the bee hovering over the crocus—magical.

  14. Why do you take your feeder down this time of year?

    • I take them down to replace them with hummingbird feeders. The songbirds get fed at ground from trays until summer. They just get new dining accommodations. When summer hits, I stop feeding until Fall when they need to bulk up for winter. I live so close to the natural areas of meadows and forest, I try to encourage them to forage.

  15. Sue says:

    Stunning shots all but my favorite is the blue jay. Every so often I get a flock of them here but now that I think about it I haven’t seen any lately. Lots of doing in the garden this weekend per your advice :).

  16. mlsouthport says:

    Wonderful photos as always, but WHY are you taking your bird feeders down? The birds need the food to help with their nesting and raising their young; they may have become at least partially dependent on them during the winter.

    • I guess I should have been more forthcoming. I take them down now for cleaning and replacing them with hummingbird feeders. The songbirds get moved to ground with trays there. I put out the seed my cockatoo does not eat everyday. Today, I put out all kinds of fruit and veggies. I could not believe he did not eat the pineapple, cherries, strawberries, oranges, watermelon etc. I was actually mad at him for all the work it takes me to cut up fruit and veggies for him.

  17. Exquisite photographs, Donna! You’ve made my day [again!]

  18. I planted crocus last fall for the first time and am so glad. Your pictures make them shine!! Great action shots of the bees, especially love that one of the bee in flight.

  19. Helene says:

    Really beautiful close-ups! And lovely crocuses too!
    What is that blue bird called? Sorry, I don’t know many birds, but I am starting to get to know the birds in my own garden, I have finally got some more than just the pigeons that lives on my roof 🙂 I have blackbirds visiting every day and a couple of magpies are coming regularly too, they are having a good splash in my birdbath, so much that the bath is almost empty when they are finished and there’s water everywhere!
    I haven’t been able to capture it yet, I need a better lens, but it seems it will a bit longer till I get the lens on my wish list. I have been looking into buying second hand, but they cost around £100 so still a fair amount.
    I hope spring has arrived for you and that you enjoy the sunshine 🙂

  20. Fantastic photos. I’m looking for a macro lens for my Canon. I have a super macro setting on an older Olympus camera that is fantastic, in fact it is the only thing I use the camer for now. So I’m looking for the same type of quality. Your posts are so interesting.

    • Canon makes some nice equipment although I have never used any myself. Many of my friends are Canon users. Great lenses. The lens in this post is a very inexpensive lens to purchase new, but I was always amazed at the sharpness and fastness of this lens. I never had problems with it shooting birds i flight, unlike my 400mm. I need to really get to using it to become as comfortable with it as this 300mm. Every professional I talk to says my 80-400mm is a great lens. I just can’t say that as of yet.

  21. Christy says:

    Love to see the bees busily buzzing the flowers. All of the pictures are great! This past weekend I saw this years’ first bumble bees in my garden.

  22. Donna, it was great seeing you and thank you so much giving me first dibs on buying the lens! It’s great and I love it already.

    • I know you are going to love it and by seeing you use it today, are not going to experience that learning curve. Just remember not to get in too close. The lens will never focus and you will end up with just blur.

  23. Pingback: Spring Day Macro at f/22 |Photomiser

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