Might be a First on the Site – a Bee at 100pct

This is a really close crop – at 100pct. Meaning that I cut the middle out of the picture and didn’t reduce the size of it to post it here. Which I have done with every other shot I’ve posted. Just wanted to share a look at the detail, unshrunk (and undamaged by the shrinking algorithms).

From yesterday, btw. Weather was uncooperative today.

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Two Different – in Flight

Cloudy, cold, and a little rainy today. But not really much and/or enough. We’re so dry dry dry around here. Worrisome. Interesting thought, though: not even close to “outside normal range”. That’s one of our (collective human) flat spots when we see the world. While we’re around longer than mayflies, we’re not around nearly as long as, say, rocks. So when one of us says, “this is the driest summer I can remember”, mother nature just laughs. That said, “normal range” is a pretty important concept when it comes to discernment.

Here are a couple of neat bees. Poor bulbs seem to be suffering from lack of “spring showers” already.

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On Focus

I occasionally mention how shallow the plane of focus is when I’m shooting bees. And the closer the lens is to the target, the narrower that plane becomes. Consider the first picture: I was really close to this one…the bee nearly filled the screen. And I missed the bee with the focus and caught the tip of a hyacinth blossom. And the bee is…a blur.

I was a little farther out with the lens in the second picture and managed to get the pollen basket in focus. But most of the rest of the bee is not tack sharp.

So…in addition to a great look at a bee (in the second picture, at least), I guess you get some perspective (again) in this post.

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Another New Blossom – Glory of the Snow

Apparently, this one has been reclassified recently as a member of the squill family. Plant taxonomy is really a moving target. This one is one of my favorites. Although it blooms for a while, the window in which the bees visit is pretty narrow – meaning that it only throws pollen for a short time. Lots of flowers are that way. So you get ’em while you can…

Oh, and I really shouldn’t forget to mention her neck. It’s why I chose this photo. Never in a million years would I imagine that a bee’s neck would look like that. So very strange. But, of course, perfect.

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Bonus: Back Catalog Bumble

So today I shot bees for a while. Sorted through the shots and figured I had about 200 or so that I could publish on the site (if I wanted to). Lots were similar to each other, of course, and that could be less than interesting. But I say that to point out that during the winter, when the bees are dormant, I do have lots of back catalog to use to come up with the daily bee.

That said, normally during the winter I scramble to find a new bee every day. That’s my habit, usually. That’s frustrating, though, in that the evenings seem to compress…and I run out of time. And bee posting can become a chore. So…frustrated with myself, I frontloaded February and March of this year – picked a shot for each day of those two months. Meant to take some pressure off myself. But…with the return of the bees (and posting “shot today” bees), I find the folder called “ready to post” burgeoning. Not that that’s a bad thing, but…

So…here’s the shot that I would have published today had the bees still been dormant (or I had not shot, etc.). It’s a great bumble (Hunt’s) on that pollen-throwing workhorse, the blanket flower. Bonus! Enjoy.

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Today is About Toes

I think I’m supposed to call them “tarsal claws”, but they’re going to be toes to me for now. Three at the end of each leg, which (obviously) makes for eighteen total. Never thought about that until now. Anyway, zoom in on all of her right-side toes. All in focus and you can see them at work on the petal of the hyacinth.

I’ve not really ever seen any evidence of holes on a petal (has to be really, really small – maybe someday I’ll grab a petal and magnify it until I can see the toe-holes), but…I have seen bees’ toes tear a petal that can’t support the weight of the bee. It kind of tickles me when a bee falls off a flower. Maybe it shouldn’t. They get right back to it, of course. Maybe that needs to be filed under the heading, “misery loves company”. But just knowing that these critters that I admire so much fall to earth from time to time, bounce back up, and continue on their way might be a little inspiring. And if not that, it might be that we all crash now and then. And we pop back up and fly right after we do.

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Hard to Tell…

…but this one is in a hyacinth. I like this shot lots. Even though the light was pretty harsh, it works with this one pretty well. And the bee is great looking. Long extension on the back leg. I’m often surprised when I see some of the shapes I catch.

Siderant: I’m really tired of hearing that “it’s all a matter of perspective” as a dodge to ignore reality. Everything really is what it is. And is not what it’s not – irrespective of what we choose to name it (as well as having a pretty sharp razor, Mr. Occam had a lot to say on “nominalism”). Rejecting that argument, specifically that by appealing to “perspective”, stuff can be something that it’s not, somehow seems to obviate the notion that perspective really is important.

Ansel Adams (look him up if you don’t know him – it’s worth the time) is quoted as saying, “A good photograph is knowing where to stand“. Getting the right perspective on the subject. Or at least a perspective that appeals to the eye…and beyond. Not to label this shot as Adamsesque, but the perspective on this one is nice. I could have shot a broader gardenscape and we’d have missed seeing the bee. I could have been behind the leaf to the left with the same outcome (i.e. sans bee).

The reality is, in that particular few seconds, that there was a bee on this hyacinth. And, further, where I chose to stand – or, rather, crouch – gave us a good look at some of her detail. Perspective really, really matters. That said, even if I call that insect a fly, it’s still a bee.

I’m usually a little reluctant to draw conclusions in the few rants I toss out here. But I’ll spell this one out: 1) It’s a bee. 2) I had to put myself in the right spot (including close enough to her) to identify whatever it is as a bee. 3) Even though I might wish it were something else (a spider or a Lindor chocolate truffle), it’s still a bee. 4) After all that, it’s on me to take the data from the needed perspective and behave accordingly. In other words, I did not call (or name/nom) it a chocolate truffle and pick it up and pop it in my mouth.

Sometimes the consequences of nominalism are immediately apparent. Sometimes it takes a while. But there’s no good value in the proposition, beginning, middle, or end.

Maybe it all really is a matter of perspective. But to be dishonest about what we observe – or, worse, willfully deny what we observe – can have no good outcomes ultimately.

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