A Profile on David’s Penstemmon

I thought that this was a penstemmon. But it grows and flows like a ground cover rather than standing up and flowering from a single stock. This is a pretty neat plant but so frustrating for shooting bees. One of the neat things about it is that sometimes, all of the blossoms point exactly the same way. So in the wind, it they move in a synchronized way like they’re under water.

Frustrating because the bees crawl all the way up in and get obscured. And they stay for a good while. And I’m not always that patient. So I sit looking through the viewfinder waiting…ensuring focus constantly…and then they pop out…and pop back in to another so very quickly. And the guessed focus is usually wrong. But…neat blossoms and neat bee. And I like to, when I can, show bees on whatever is blooming. The bees like it – so so must I.

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Rare Shot at 100% – on a Hyacinth

I haven’t done this often, but here’s a shot at 100pct. I kept zooming in on it to crop it…and ended up here. Specifically I love the wing in motion, the claws on the flower’s petal, and the pollen on the left side that’s flying around. She’s almost landed and this is what that looks like.

About the flower that you really can’t see: it’s called Hyacinthoides hispanica, – Spanish bluebell or wood hyacinth. It’s native to Spain, Portugal and northwest Africa. And it’s in lots of the gardens around here. Don’t know if I’ve gotten a bee on it yet.

I’ve also started doing something a little different – grabbing a color from the picture for the copyright lettering. Not sure if I like it, or prefer the consistency of the shadowed gray. Both are obnoxious, but necessary these days.

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On the Iris…

Different iris this time. So many in bloom now, but still rare to catch a bee on one. So…that’s what I’m shooting and posting. A bit too much dark and light in this shot, but that’s what nature has done so that’s what I capture (or reflect).

I like the profile shots lots – in which more of the bee is in focus. Been really appreciating this spring. So many laments during the winter that I was missing the bees. Oh, in other news, just got a text from the bee woman (known as JodyBees…let me know if you want some honey…can ship and it’s fantastic) asked if there was room for a fourth hive in the back yard. How could I say no?? I didn’t, of course. Apparently the queen is a Pendleton (which means the bees may have reddish thorax). That would be super. Anyway…enjoy today’s!

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Bonus – First Dragonfly of the Season

Followed this one around the yard for a while hoping it would land and let me get a shot. Kept spooking it – it was really skittish. Finally it landed on the sidewalk – and let me crawl on my belly until I was really, really close. Only cropped about 10pct off the right side on this shot so it prettymuch filled the frame. Trouble is, it’s on the sidewalk. But you really get a good look at the compound eye. And the sidewalk. And the shadow (again). And the very narrow depth-of-focus.

But it is the first dragonfly of the year. And that matters.

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In Flight in a Sea of Iris

Title strikes me as odd. How does one fly in a sea? Guess the bees have figured it out. I seem to get so many “going away” shots – birds, bees, wildlife. Not so many coming at me…but there are a few.

Don’t know what this iris is called, but it sure went wild this year. Must have been more than a dozen blooming at once – and all at the same height. Really a stunner. Bonus points for the shots with bee shadow, too. I really like that.

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Great Green Metallic Sweat Bee on a Dandelion

This is a full-frame shot…meaning that I did not crop it at all. I generally crop the picture some for the sake of getting closer – or the sake of composition. But I liked the way the whole thing looked on this one. Was down on my belly in the grass right on top of the thing. I know that dandelions in lawns get a bad rap, but the bees sure love them. And there’s something to be said for that.

Love the eye on this one. And you get a good look at two of the three eyes along the top of her head, too.

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Approaching the Allium

The allium has just started and that means a lot of contorting to grab shots. But in this one, she’s approaching – and upright, relatively. Love the green and purple together. Really a fascinating plant. Relative of onion/garlic. In addition to the shape of the whole thing and the anthers extending add a delicateness.

Couple of years ago, when in Salt Lake City, I saw a small bungalow whose front yard was full of nothing but these allium. It was tremendous. Didn’t take any pictures and doubt if I could find it again. But for about a week in the spring, that front yard is as magical as it gets.

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Throwback to September – on the Sedum

Trying to get out of here for a photo trip and running behind. So…here’s one from last fall. Been told I don’t do enough verticals. Guess I think more in horizontal, but this one demanded it. Maybe a bit of noise in the upper left I could have left out, but… It’s a neat shot of the bee, regardless.

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Buzzing the Rock Cress

See what I did there? Still lots of them on the rock cress. That’s such a neat ground cover. And it persists so long, too. And doesn’t seem to be affected by the heat. Been quite hot here for the last couple of days and the irises have been suffering. They prefer it cooler. I’m pretty sure the obligatory hail storm is on the way, though. Seems to happen every spring when the irises are at their apex.

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Flying over the Catmint

They’re really going after the catmint lately. From Wednesday of this week. Look at the texture of her wing! And note that it’s kind of chewed up…and she’s lost a lot of hair on the top of her thorax. Getting toward the end of her cycle. Already. Don’t know how it is for you, but seems to me that the relative time between birthdays shrinks every year. Who said that youth is wasted on the young?

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