Chocolate Daisy- and a Green Sweat Bee

This is an interesting flower. It’s called the chocolate daisy (Berlandiera lyrata) and opens well before the light hits it in the morning. Also closes quite early in the day. So most of my shots of this one will be in the shade. And it really, really does smell like chocolate. It’s fragrant enough to throw the scent for a ways, too.

Another neat thing about this one is that it skeletalizes (if that weren’t a word before, it is now) well – kind of like the allium or money plant. By that I mean that when it gets done blooming and ends up a seed pod on a dried stalk, the seed pod is interesting – compelling even.

The grasshoppers have been hard at work – as evidenced by the damaged petals. But I think that flower makes a great shape in this shot not only in spite of that, but because of that.

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Native Tongue Heading Your Way

I think this is a leafcutter just finishing up on a blanket flower. There were several in this series, but I liked this one (and this crop) best. I especially like the position/shape of her front legs folded like they are. And her face is perfect!

Heading out today to get some Yellowstone in before the festival in Idaho Falls this weekend. Hoping for some good light and some good shots!

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Smallest Bee I’ve Ever Shot

This isn’t the greatest picture that I’ve ever posted. But it’s really worth seeing. I think it’s a sweat bee – and a metallic one at that. It’s way smaller than a grain of rice – see the second pic with a scale in it – maybe 3mm or so if that. Almost impossible to see as it was navigating the tiny blossom.

Here’s a copy/paste from Wiki re the names of the plant:
Centranthus ruber, the red valerian, spur valerian, kiss-me-quick, fox’s brush, devil’s beard or Jupiter’s beard…

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Silverthorne Natives

Last weekend I was at an art festival in Silverthorne, Colorado. On the first day of the festival, I nipped out behind some aspens about 20 yards from my booth to sate a nicotine craving – when I noticed some native bees on wildflowers. So…being who I am, I went and got a camera and shot for a bit. And came up with this one. That night, I printed a number of copies and then matted those prints.

The shot was well-received by those who attended the show. And it’s a really nice one. And one of the few on this site that’s not from our gardens here. Native Colorado bee on a tiny, dime-sized wild aster. Fun shot!

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Sweat Bee, Tongue, and Yarrow

This is the wrong yarrow again…although I really can’t tell what’s wrong with it. Nor can the bees and wasps. This one was just covered on Wednesday. This is a really fun shot…of a really small bee. They almost look like they have fat pants on. Full pantaloons. Or saddlebags when seen from behind.

Should have spent more time on Wed preparing to leave…and spent less time shooting bees. But…dang…it’s so rewarding. So much fun. And so interesting.

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Digger Bee on the Salvia

Much of the salvia has gone the way of others that throw seeds everywhere. That is to say, on to the lawn to be mulched when mowed. That actually is working out pretty well. Strange shortcut.

But…only a few salvias around anymore. Great colors in this one. Something really nice about the magenta and green. Maybe a little dark.

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Some Beeneck in the Lavender

Getting ready to head to Silverthorne/Breckenridge, Colorado for a Fri, Sat, Sun art festival. Seems I’m never quite ready to hit the road.

Kind of a nasty looking bit of lavender today…been so hot and there’s so little water. Rumor has it that they’re going to shut off the irrigation in August. And that’s going to be a killer on the gardens. The lawns are looking pretty crispy already (turned the water way, way down on them).

Today – great look at a bee neck. And eyes and face. Fun composition, too. If you’re interested in the health of the bees and other pollinators, remember to put some water out for them. Put a stone or two in the birdbath so they have something to stand on as they drink. Easy way to make friends.

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Abdomen-up Leafcutter in the Yarrow

This is in the new parking strip garden (think we put it in last year) and it’s looking really good. Apparently, though, this yarrow is “the wrong one” and is a little too tall. Guess it will be relocated in the fall?? Anyway, I love this bee. Always abdomen-up. And fuzzy. And those eyes?

Will be in Whitefish, Montana on Fri, Sat, Sun for the art festival. Come check it out if you’re in the area!

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Still Some California Poppies

Here’s a great leafcutter on a California poppy. They seem to be fading. This is the “abdomen up” bee and I really like its shape and eyes.

Good to be back for a day. Headed up to a Festival in Whitefish, Montana tomorrow. Got to shoot a little yesterday late in the day. Really miss that when I’m on the road – and I can’t seem to figure out how to make time to shoot when I’m in such neat places. Really need to do that. Great sunrise yesterday morning and hadn’t brought a lens that would do it justice. Shaking my head…

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Another on the Weedy Daisy

That’s not the flower’s real name. Not sure what it is. But it’s a .neat one and I quite like it. Seeds profusely and pops up all over in the gardens. Fun to see where it comes up in the late spring. And, of course, the pollinators love it. This is a leafcutter bee. Note the tongue at work. And the really neat eyes.

I’m going to be at the Snowmass Art Festival (near Aspen, Colorado) with my stuff on Saturday and Sunday of this week. Drop by and have a look if you are in the area.

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