Flowering Stinging Nettle, attended by a Hover Fly, near Swanshard Bridge, on North Moor; 24 July 2012.

Well, here’s the bane of my and doubtless many others’ childhoods.  One moment I’m playing happily in the rough vegetation, and the next some exposed part of me – hands, bare arms or legs – touches one of these nasties, and the day turns suddenly sour as the tiny hollow hairs on this plant’s leaves inject acid!  Its not long lasting or dangerous of course but, for a short time, it really stings!

This is a widespread plant; its in our garden.  And it can also be a culinary delight, tho I’ve never tried it!

And if you’re wondering where the nettle’s flowers are, they’re the strange little “ropes” hanging off the stem – looking like lengths of knotted string.

And the Hover Fly (at least, that’s what I think it is) is purely serendipitous – it was only when I was trawling through old images last night, aiming to delete many and possibly post one or two, that I saw it.  A shutter speed of 1/500th of a second has more or less frozen it.

Click onto the image to see a slightly larger version in a separate window.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 230mm; 200 ISO.


About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. Becky B says:

    This is a gorgeous photograph. Serendipity is a photographer’s friend.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Becky, thank you very much indeed – and thank you too for following my blog! As you can see, my blog has a white background, and I often add a thin black border to images that are mostly pale, to differentiate them from the background. Also I think that a thin black border can enhance the look of an image, particularly if the image is at all abstract or arty, like the one you posted just now. Thank you again. Adrian

      Liked by 1 person

      • Becky B says:

        That’s a really helpful tip – thank you.
        And going to be my pleasure following your blog as can see already from the few posts I’ve looked at I’m going to learn lots and be inspired 🙂 just what my Algarvian blog needs.


        • Adrian Lewis says:

          Oh you’re in the Algarve and you’re a birdwatcher too – small world! >>> I was an ardent birder for 35 years, tho I’ve never visited your area. But there’s a Birds category on my blog still, and although photography is really my thing now, I never tire of enjoying birds. Well, if you can learn from, and be inspired by, my blog, then I’ll be very happy. And should you have any questions about photography or blogging, I’ll always do my best to provide answers. A 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Truels says:

    The nice backlight works so nice here!


  3. I love the bee approaching!!


  4. bluebrightly says:

    We have it here, too – the first time you get hit is always such a surprise…nice light!


  5. paula graham says:

    So well done getting that hover fly..Nice shot, against the light, perfect. I have tried nettle soup once..not to be repeated, not at all like spinach , which I love lots.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Well, the Hover Fly was pure luck, it just happened to be there as I pressed the shutter, but shots against the light often have vast amounts to offer, don’t they? Walking with the light coming from behind me, I often feel that I’m not seeing my surroundings at their best. Yes, I like spinach too, but nettles just don’t conjure up such promises of enjoyment.


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