One of my Favorite Faces

This is a metallic green sweat bee coming out of a sunflower. I just love the color, texture, face, and eye(s). Those three little bumps on the top of the head are eyes, too (ocelli-simple eyes – in contrast to the compound eyes on either side of the head). As far as the metallic ones go, I think the metallic mason bees are a bit neater because they’re whole-body metallic. But the face of the sweat bee is just super. The depth of focus is so tough. On one level, I’d prefer that everything were in focus (see also: focus stacking). On another…and my level (given that I shoot handheld, too)…I think it’s better art when focus (and lack of it) is part of the piece. My site, my preference, I guess. Plus you’ve got to kill or incapacitate the bees to do the focus stacking (or use a focus rail…or whatever else one might do in the not-handheld world). Phew. Happy Friday!

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Can’t for the Life of Me…

…recall the name of this bee. Looks very much like a longhorn and it’s in the sunflower, but I don’t think that’s it. If I can reclaim that bit of my leaky brain, I’ll edit the post. Meantime, enjoy the bee and the neat, red-tinged sunflower. Beautiful.

In other news, I’m trying to get the resources and location together for a gallery here in Ogden, Utah – and the process is rife with hiccups and dead ends. Please send good thoughts this way. I think it’s time for that to happen.

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The Second of the Three-fer

A lefcutter this time. And an especially golden one, which again is rare in my experience. Love the eye on this one. The flower is looking a little ratty, but notice how it’s still showing and throwing pollen. Don’t deadhead these cone flowers until the bees start to ignore them. They’re kind of strange in that they keep opening up and sharing pollen long after the petals get nasty.

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Leafcutter Approaching the Yarrow

I’m in Durango, Colorado today at the art festival. If you’re in the area, come have a look!

This is the infamous “abdomen-up” bee. Seems like the underside of her back end is always covered in pollen. Great eyes on this one. Great grab. And the pink with the green background is special.

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The Blanket Flower – Pulling Them All In

Current festival: On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (September 4-6), I’ll be in Avon, Colorado in Nottingham Park with my art. Stop by and have a look. Bonus here is that on Monday night, Los Lobos will be playing a free show.

I generally prefer a head-on or true profile shot. This one is like a one quarter shot, but the focus is good all the way along…from the end of the abdomen to the eye and antennae. And it’s probably good to see the little ones from all angles. And there’s that blanket flower again. If you’ve been on the site for a while you’ll know I’m a big fan of these flowers – and one of the many, many reasons is that they attract all sorts of pollinators. Seems some flowers are more geared to one type of bee or another. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that. Everyone needs to eat where they can. But…having something that attracts all has great value, too. And the blanket flower is one of those. A (native) longhorn in this case.

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Some Strange Antenna Articulation

Current festival: On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (September 4-6), I’ll be in Avon, Colorado in Nottingham Park with my art. Stop by and have a look. Bonus here is that on Monday night, Los Lobos will be playing a free show.

Yesterday, the longhorns were all over this particular goldenrod. Tried to catch multiples in a single shot, but failed at that. This one, though, really struck me. I’ve seen them do some strange things with their antennae, but never seen an arc like this. Just curling all the way around. I’ve also never seen them so enthusiastic about the goldenrod. Normally, they prettymuch stick to ths sunflowers. Fun fact: Only female longhorns have stingers. The males don’t. Not entirely sure how to figure out the difference, though, except for that. And that method seems dumb.

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The Cone Flower Again!

Seems I haven’t gotten as many shots this summer on the cone flowers. Not sure if it’s time of day, something else weird, or other plants throwing more/better pollen. There’s a magenta one I don’t think I’ve gotten a single shot on. Anyway, here’s a great leafcutter on an echinacea – and I never use that name because I can neither remember nor spell it. Cone flower. Or, because I misheard initially, corn flower. Which is another flower entirely. It’s early. I yammer. The abdomen-up bee.

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Waking Up – and a Photobomber

Might not be fair to call that green, metallic sweat bee a photobomber. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even see it until the picture was on my monitor. The bumble was sleeping on the salvia and just waking up. I anthropomorphize some, but that stretching… A good part of waking up. Anyway, I don’t often see the sweat bees sleeping anywhere. They’re generally pretty active, but looking at all the pictures, this one was inert. I wish I’d have seen it and gotten some shots that were in focus. So seldom that they hold still even a little. Anyway, double bee today. If nothing else, it really illustrates the size disparity between the two varieties.

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What More Do You Need…

…to become convinced to plant some blanket flowers? They’ve been blooming for a number of weeks (months?) and are a fantasy land for bees. Here’s today’s evidence 😉 :

Three bumbles, one longhorn, and one honey bee (and both of those caught in flight). Fun pictures today!

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