"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Tall Hollyhock at Twigworth, a Night Stop for a Bumble Bee.

I mentioned the hollyhocks at Twigworth yesterday. One, particularly, was immensely tall, we estimated about 9 ft. The hollyhock, Alcea rosea is so beautiful and a real favourite of mine.Their long towering spikes of flowers and little round seed pods were constantly swaying in the wind. This interestingly made it quite tricky for the bumble bees to land. But land they did, working round the central stamen and getting completely covered in white pollen.

bee pollen

Early one morning before opening up I sat on the lawn and made a measured sketch. I noticed that a very still little white tailed bumble bee was curled round the stamen of one of the flowers. I rather think he had been there overnight. I was a good half hour and he was still there when I left. I have seen them here sheltering under teasels for the night.

Bee in Hollyhock… not easy to see him curled round in the middle.

hollyhock and bee bg

My slow measured sketch…

tall hollyhock bg sm 

Later a quicker sketch with black and white pens on toned paper.

 hollyhock bg

Back in the studio in between talking to the visitors I drew a pod and its little adjoining leaf. The pods are delightfully furry.
It’s a bit like the old “Leaf of the Day” times! I still have to draw the seeds but have brought a few pods back with me, along with some honesty. Nice! I am looking forward to drawing them.

Hollyhock Seed Pod and Leaf

holyhock bg

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Your drawings are so delicate. I am going to grow hollyhocks next year. All bees welcome to pop round for a sleep!