A Mess in the Blanket Flowers…Still Going Strong

Once these start in the late spring, they just don’t quit. Here’s a great look at a honeybee in the blanket flowers which are in the (relatively) new parking strip garden. Sure it’s getting cooler. Sure it’s fall. But all of these lifeforms have no quit in them. Guess the hard freeze will knock them out, but that doesn’t detract from the point. They just go.

Rate this photo

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.

Rate this photo

That Fantastic Gaillardia

So today I got the nicest email from a regular visitor to the site. She mentioned that she enjoyed the site, thanked me for the pictures and posts, and told me that she’d found and purchased some of the Gaillardia Mesa Peach (blanket flowers) in order to better attract (and provide for) bees – and reported her (and their) success in glowing words.

That note really made my day. So gratifying on so many levels. Thank you!

So…for today…I went out a few minutes ago and grabbed this shot. Patty, this one’s for you:

Rate this photo

Some More on the Blanket Flower

Loving the colors in this one. The background. The shapes.

One thing I’d like you to notice is the apparent age of the worker bee. Although the queens live five to seven years (give or take) the worker bee has a lifespan of just about six weeks after she leaves the hive and becomes a collector of pollen and nectar (she spends a bit of time before that caring for things within the hive).

If you look at this one, you might notice a couple of things: First, she’s lost most of her hair on her thorax. It’s nearly bare. That happens as they age. The next is the shape her wings are in. You can see that the ends of her wings are tattered. She’s literally worn them out.

Rate this photo

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!

Rate this photo

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!

Rate this photo