A Standby: Sublime Longhorn in a Sunflower

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The longhorns are so partial to the sunflowers. And they’re such complex, hairy-looking things. Have so many shots of them that are similar to this. And most of them give the same feeling. There’s an easy smoothness looking at them. They’re all different – and this one is great if only for the green background. Nice combination of colors and shapes – even composition is interesting. And, of course, the bee looks great.

In the Ratty Alyssum

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This alyssum has been at it for a while. You can see the seed pods to the left and right of that bunch of blossoms that the bee is visiting. Also in the lower right corner. Good shot of the bee and her wings – those veins. This plant is classified as an annual, and it is. But it is a little like a perennial in that it keeps showing up each year – it seeds itself (as evidenced by this shot). It doesn’t wander much, but the color (owing to the bees’ good work) can morph through time.

We generally end up planting a flat or two here and there, but there’s always a great crop of volunteers there and here, too. This one is kind of tricky for bees because sometimes it’s just bare…and on other days it’s pulsing with bees. With some plants, I can kind of tell where in the pollen cycle they are and predict rightly when the bees will be on it. Haven’t really figured this one out – and it’s somewhat strange because each plant – each bunch – usually has so many blossoms that some ought to be throwing pollen. But it seems an all-or-nothing thing for the bees.

Larkspur Bud and Wool Carder Bee

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This one isn’t a native, but from the UK, I think. Really aggressive, territorial little thing. And…as they might say in the UK, rather randy. And annoying. That said, it’s a beautiful bee. Not much to not like about its aesthetics. Great look at the eye today. And the background really makes this shot interesting. Nice feel to it.

Black and Grey Leafcutter on the Larkspur

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This one had just landed. Got several nice shots in flight that will show up later. The light’s a little strange, but the bee looks fantastic. That coloration is something I rarely see. Still has the neat leafcutter eyes, though. The yellow in the background is a mess of blanket flowers. Because the larkspur is so tall and otherwise unsupported (single stalks), it’s often hard to get a clear shot. That wind and all. But this one worked out well…especially the wings.

On Some White Lavender Today

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Just a bit more bee neck. And some whiteish lavender, too. We don’t have this one in the yard, so I have to think I shot this at Young’s Living Farm. When I was there, though, they didn’t offer this one for sale.

We’ll be out of the lavender soon. But, meantime, think about planting some. It’s gorgeous, smells great, has some therapeutic value I’m told, isn’t a water pig, and often blooms twice (though the second bloom isn’t as robust or long-lasting as the first). Oh, and the pollinators just love it!

Gone Vertical

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If I remember right, this one seemed to be sleeping. She moved just a little. The tiny sprayer sprinklers were going back and forth sometimes hitting the flower. Looks like there’s a little droplet up top and a few elsewhere. Nice full-body profile of a pretty one. I shot lots of this particular one because she was holding still…and that’s really rare.

Still in the Lavender

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And running way late today. If you look, you can see a bit of her neck in this pic. It’s that white disc-looking thing there. Recall, too, that insects don’t have bones like you and I have – but an “exoskeleton”, meaning that the rigidity and protection and structure that our bones provide is for them, instead, provided by their “shells” or exterior construction. So that neck of hers is, essentially, a rigid tube that connects her head with her thorax. Need to do some research, but it’s such a strange looking thing (compared to what I might have imagined, had I thought about it before I saw it). And there’s never anything wrong with purple and green!

Another in the Lavender

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Late again…but I did manage to get the camera out of the case today. Went after some birds. Feeling a bit rusty…but got a couple of ducks and a number of birds. Saw some roughies, but didn’t have cooperative light. Plus they’re a little skittish. Also saw some green grass where the snows have receded.

Love this one’s wings. Just a good, fun shot all in all. Won’t be long until the lavender comes back, too. Hunting for little crocus spikes now, though. Dang, this is a pretty good shot!

A Few Days in the Lavendar

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Took some time to look at bee pics today and found myself in June (last) and the lavender. So…next few days some shots from there. Kind of a nicely framed face in this one. And some pretty neat ones coming up.

Has felt a little warmer here lately. And I think my earliest bee shot was on January 28th three or four years ago. That’s just about three weeks away. Unlikely to happen this year…but I’m thinking it’s closer to weeks than months. And that’s pretty heartening. Can mark the days getting longer. I’m reveling in that.