January is a tough month to love. The holidays are over, while at home the days are dark and dreary. Even with a birthday in February it is hard for me to show much enthusiasm for the month. In true January form, our time in Ireland has been rainy, cold, and overcast – it even hailed yesterday.
While Europe is in full winter mode, the definition of “winter” varies greatly depending where on the continent you are. Although we are currently fighting with gale force winds and raindrops the size of marbles in Ireland, just two weeks ago we were strolling Malta’s sunny promenade, dodging joggers, ice-cream cones in hand, and two weeks before that we were exploring Sicily’s narrow streets, indulging in pizza and arancini and giggling at the locals bundled up in their best fur coats en route to church.
Of all the countries we’ve explored this January, Sicily likely had the best weather – we even stumbled upon trees in bloom during our visit to the Valley of the Temples outside of Agrigento. While admiring the pretty blooms, I noticed a few bees buzzing about. Knowing that no one at home would believe me, I captured some proof of spring arriving early.
To capture this moment I used my 70-300mm zoom lens and set my shutter speed as fast as possible. Focusing on a particularly popular bloom that had been attracting a few bees, I shot continuously (think rapid-fire) for five or six shots at a time. This allowed me to “freeze” the bee in mid flight as it approached the bloom.
For all those ready for winter to move along, don’t get too down – Spring is on it’s way… eventually.