The Girls are Back!!!!

First bee of spring – with pollen on her eye – on a Crocus tommasinianus ‘Roseus’

Finally!! I took our traveling bus down to the garage to get it worked on, and a friend from there drove me back to the house. As we pulled into the driveway, I saw (on a south-facing slope) several honeybees at work in the newly-blooming crocuses. The conversation stopped abruptly and I got out of the car and sprinted to the house for my camera. Don’t know if I even thanked him for the ride home.

Got some reasonable shots, but the joy… Spring is coming. Bees are back at work. Things are good!

For the record, that crocus is a Crocus tommasinianus ‘Roseus’

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Nearly-drowned Honeybee

Honeybee who must have forsaken swimming lessons in favor of other pursuits

By all accounts, this is the worst technical photograph to appear so far. But, at one a day, they all cannot be above average – in fact, just about half are going to fall below that threshold. So get over it.

I found this little one struggling in the birdbath last summer. I don’t know how or why she fell in – nor why she was unable to get herself out. So I fished her out and was glad when she righted herself and it became clear that I wasn’t going to have to perform artificial respiration on her. I’m thinking it’s best not to ponder that too long…

She did look pretty neat backlit and waterlogged. And she did end up drying off and getting back to work – seemingly no worse for the wear…or the bath.

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A Bumble from Red Butte

Another shot from Red Butte Garden (described in yesterday’s post). Something tells me I really should know what this flower’s called, but don’t. One of the hazards of leaving my own yard.

If you look very closely, you might see another critter peeking out from somewhere. I think that the close-ups are usually more compelling, but this one from a little farther out grabbed me. The attitude of the bumble and the blossom seem to work nicely together.

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Bumble on a Cone Flower

Bumble on a Cone Flower (Echinacea – of some sort)

This was shot last August at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City. I’d driven a friend to an appointment with a doctor and I had a couple of hours to kill. I had my cameras with me and so I decided to have a look at the gardens there. It was a really odd day in that it seemed to be all bumbles, all the time – and several varieties. Only a few natives, fewer honeybees, and just masses of bumbles. Normally, I’m overwhelmed with honeybees and the occasional bumble is a treat. That afternoon, it was reversed. But it sure was a fun day to shoot. And the gardens there are exceptional. Stop in if you’re in the area – and I’ll bet you thank me after your visit.

In other news, when I was introduced to this flower (in our own gardens) I heard “Corn Flower” rather than “Cone Flower”. So…they’ll always be Corn Flowers to me.

I think I mentioned I wasn’t much of a taxonomist…yet.

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More Asters

Honeybee in a mess of asters

Apart from the pollen on her eye and her neat pollen bucket, one of the things to notice about this photograph is the varying states of maturity of the aster flowers. The one on the lower right has just opened, whereas the one on the upper right is starting to fade. They flower profusely in the late summer until the first hard frost. After almost everything else has faded for the season, they’re still going strong and they’re really the go-to as Fall winds down. The bees just love them.

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Honeybee on a Caryopteris

Honeybee on a Caryopteris

I shot this one at the Ogden Botanical Gardens, too. Neat tongue on this one. This particular flower is wonderful for pollinators. Bumbles, honeybees, and lots of varieties of butterflies seem to flock to it. It blooms in late summer and early fall here in the Rockies and, at least here, just teems with them in the afternoon.

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Yesterday’s Bee – on a Meadow Blazing Star

Another from the family Megachilidae – on a Meadow Blazing Star

Liatris ligulistylis – as noted, an amazing flower for attracting pollinators. Here’s the same species (unknown) from yesterday. I love the detail on face and eye.

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Another from the Family Megachilidae

Species unknown from the family Megachilidae – on an unknown flower

Terrible day for taxonomy. But a very good day for a neat looking bee. I know neither the name of the bee nor the flower. I took it at the Ogden Botanical Gardens in August of 2019. This is one of my favorite bees. It often has its back end up as you can see in the picture. When I was younger, I saw the aftermath of a traffic accident in which one of those long, wide, boat-like American cars from the early ’70s had gotten rear ended. The whole rear end was pushed upward, uniformly, at past a forty-five degree angle. This bee reminds me of that.

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Honeybee on a Chrysanthemum

Honeybee on a Chrysanthemum

In the fall, I have a really bad habit of being impressed by these very large, very inexpensive plastic pots of ‘mums at Costco. So every year I buy one. And every year, it’s a challenge to figure out where to plant it. And they keep coming back – and hybridizing.

They’re a great flower for pollinators in the fall. Honeybees and that fly that mimics a bee (which one, right? there seem to be more than a few) seem to be the most fond of the ‘mums. But pollinators are pollinators.

The light on this one is a little blasting. Shade’s generally better for good photographs, but I like the shot nonetheless. It always tickles me to see the pollen baskets filling. And a filthy face doesn’t ever hurt.

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