The Blanket Flower Delivers

These are in full bloom now…and they’re attracting all manner of bees. In fact, given that I like to post “what’s blooming now”, you may well get sick of the colors. Such fantastic plants for pollinators!

Got back from Loveland, Colorado’s Art in the Park yesterday. Fun time, but the crowd was a little sparse due to current events, etc. Here’s to a more normal 2021.

Occurs to me that I should say something about today’s bee: Beautiful! Think I’ll let the picture be the other 999 words today…

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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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Back to the Blanket Flower – Mesa Peach

An absolute favorite of mine. It’s starting to look a little ratty now, but there are also a lot of new buds on it. It will go until late Fall.

In other news, the parking strip is now devoid of grass – and I’ve been told that I have six or seven more of these on order. Hope they get established quickly and will bloom this season.

That’s a sweat bee, btw. Note the lack of pollen bucket.

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Mesa Peach is Back

My favorite blanket flower…so far. It’s a little taller this year than last. Probably because it had to reach through the forest of larkspurs (which has since been thinned). This one is just fantastic for pollinators of all kinds. I’ve seen honeybees (obviously), natives, pollinating flies, dragonflies, damselflies, bumbles, and butterflies on it. Oh, and the occasional spider. Plus it’s just beautiful itself. Great cultivar.

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Green Metallic Sweat Bee on the Blanket Flower

Have only seen one honeybee on this flower so far – published a couple of days ago. If there’s a bee on it, it’s going to be one of these… Or a green carpenter bee. They generally run several counter-clockwise circles around the flower in their pollen collection. And I am most fond of the side shots in which you can see their eye. Tho there’s something to be said for a canted face shot, too!

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Honeybee on a New Blanket Flower

Saw this flower in a garden center and had to get it – because the bees were so fond last year of the one we had. So I bought this and another. Started blooming a bit ago – a lovely red and yellow.

Close up shot of the pollen on the face that I love. Hope you do, too. Also the beeneck just tickles me.

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Genus Agapostemon (Sweat Bee) on Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)

The bees have been so attracted to the Gaillardia/Blanket Flowers, that I picked up a couple more at IFA a while ago – and have been waiting for them to bloom. They’ve started up – taller than the ones from last year that you’ve seen lots of. Yesterday, I caught a Sweat Bee (gen. Agapostemon) on one of the new blossoms. Magnificent looking critters. I tried to determine the species, but that confused me and seems beyond my skill level. Ideas?

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