Nature Notes

Winter Aconites

This small group of winter-aconites, (Eranthis hyemalis), situated in my garden, can be relied upon to produce flowers in the very early part of February. Indeed they are usually the only plants in the garden that are in flower at this time of the year; emerging just before the snowdrops begin to be noticeable. Aconites need either sunshine or mild temperatures before their flowers will open, and when I set up the tripod and camera the temperature was 12 deg C. with very strong and gusty wind blowing from the SW. A high semi-circular wall surrounds the southern and western aspect of my garden and so provided some shelter for the aconites from the wind; although some gusty swirls did still occur at ground level. I took about 25 shots of the plants using an 80mm macro-lens and a tripod. I decided to photograph a mix of just one or two flowers very close up, and a smallish group of them together, but slightly further from my camera. In the end I chose a shot from the small group in order to get the best chance of them all being in focus. I wanted to make sure that the leaves and flowers were both in focus and so stopped the lens right down and used a slow shutter speed.

Winter Aconites