In the Shadows on the Asters

First shot of the garden asters this year. Twilight so there’s some strange light on it. Kind of have a love/hate with the asters. When they start to bloom, the clock is ticking on the summer. But they go and go and go and go. And the bees love them. And I’ve gotten some remarkable shots on them. Here’s the first of what will likely be many…

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Wool Carder Bee – Defending the Hens and Chicks

This bee has a lot of nicknames around here – all of them unprintable. Really territorial, aggressive little thing. Especially the males. But this is a neat shot of a male in flight. Look closely at that neat eye on him.

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Wool Carder Bee Doing What Wool Carder Bees Do

These little ones are just nasty. Really territorial. And they’ll knock anyone else off the blossoms that they have claimed.

Here’s a good shot of one just before impact. The next pic in the series shows the honeybee (very badly out of focus) well away from the blossom. I don’t catch many like this, but they’re neat shots.

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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Wool Carder Bee Heading In

In Logan at the Art Festival again today. Fairgrounds from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. again. Not sure why so late… Makes for long, long days. And three in a row, too.

But…here’s a wool carder bee moving toward a neat penstemmon. As neat as these little ones are, they’re incredibly obnoxious for photos. They’re very territorial and pretty pugnacious. If there’s another bee in what they consider to be their territory, they’ll fly into it and knock it off the flower – repeatedly. And it seems to happen just when I’m getting ready to click. Wouldn’t be so bad if they’d hold still long enough for a shot. But they move quickly and don’t stay long on any blossom. Well, except when they’re doing the birds-and-bees thing… And I’ve probably posted enough of those.

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Another Wool Carder – but in the Agastache

This is a nasty little bee – territorial, bellicose, and beyond promiscuous (even in cross-species and cross-gender ways). But…it’s one of my favorite bees to photograph. Maybe because the eye is so neat. I like this profile especially. And those wings are wrecked! Fun pic today.

And tomorrow…!!! Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of the site. Big plans so be sure to check in. Pretty pleased that I’ve been able to keep it going for a year. Traffic is still low. So…please share the link to this place with those whom you think might enjoy.

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Wool Carder Bee in the Hens and Chicks

This shot is probably a lot less about the bee and more about the beauty and complexity of the hens & chicks blossoming. Apparently, aficionados aren’t all that fond of the blooms – they tend to like the rosettes better and often see the blooms as an annoyance. But…the leafcutters especially like them – notsomuch the honeybees, but there are pollinators on them when they do bloom. And I’m a big fan. Really like the shapes they make.

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Wool Carder Bee In-flight over the Hens and Chicks

This one’s from late July of 2020. Really busy shot, but lots of neat colors. And I really like the hens & chicks blossoms. And when they fade, their stalks and dried-up flowers leave really great shapes in the gardens.

The honeybees don’t seem too interested in the hens & chicks, but the wool carder bees and the leafcutters do battle over their pollen and nectar. Rough to get good shots of them, though. They’re really fast and they don’t stay in once place for very long.

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Back-end up Bee at the Ogden (Utah) Botanical Gardens

This might be a better illustration of what I described a couple of days ago. Pollenbutt, too.

Yesterday, on the way back from errands, I stopped at the Ogden Botanical Gardens to shoot some bees. Really like the place. While there is a skeleton full-time staff directing the enterprise, much of the work on the upkeep is done by volunteers.

The other neat thing about it is that it’s free – and open from sunup to sunset. In my travels, I often look for municipal/public gardens. Normally, there’s a cost to enter – and lately, with the covids, you have to make an appointment to enter. Not so here. If you’re in the Ogden area, a visit is worth the time. You’ll be well rewarded.

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Mesa Peach back at it!

Not tons of action on this one this Summer that I’ve seen – which is surprising. It’s a little random/scattered/ununiform (that’s a terrible unword) because the larkspurs were blocking the light somewhat. So the blanket flower had to get a little trickier and taller. The larkspurs are gone mostly and I hope it kind of settles in again.

The bee is super. Shot yesterday. Great resolution on the eye, pollen on the face, and an archetypal pose for this one. Not sure why, but this particular species likes to raise its abdomen way up. Reminds me of those grand old American boats from the late 60s/early 70s that I saw in demolition derbies as a kid. When they got rear-ended, sometimes the whole back end would fold up at a 45 degree angle. Clearly digressing now, but maybe more than fitting – in that these guys often crash into each others back ends. More of that impoliteness. Too much nonsensical narrative. Here’s the bee:

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