First of the Year on the Rock Rose

Apologies for posting late. But here’s a great shot of a little one on the rock rose. These are such silly flowers to shoot bees on. The blossoms are, in a word, flappy – so windy days are out. Then, keeping with the flappy theme, when a bee lands on one, she pulls it down – often obscuring herself from the camera. And if flappy weren’t enough, they open late in the morning and close down pretty early in the afternoon. So there’s a pretty short window (in hours) when they’re open. (Contrast with the catmint that on warm days has bees before the sun comes up over the mountain…and after it sets over the mountains in the west.) Oh, and one more bit of carping about the rock roses: even when they’re open and not flapping, they may not be throwing pollen (so no bees).

All that whined about, I sure love getting bee shots on them. And I do like the flower. This one is a good one.

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Another One Tossing Around Pollen

Quick one from this morning. Shot before the sun came up over the mountain. Love that the catmint pollen is white – and that she’s making a mess. Good fun. Note the graininess of the shot. That’s caused by high ISO (which is an artifact of a fast shutter speed coupled with low light).

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Flight, Tongue, and Salvia

Yesterday was a good bee day. Some of those strange little geraniums started to open – and those the bees love. First warmer day in a long, long time (two inches of rain in the last couple of weeks??) and they were out in force.

Here’s a simple shot of one just leaving a salvia. Wings blurred beyond seeing, but a great tongue and a pollen basket just starting to fill. Seems archetypal for this site. Love it.

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Throwin’ the Catmint Pollen all Over!

This one is pretty neat because of the pollen she’s throwing all over. They seem to be good housekeepers in the hive, but all bets are off in the garden. They make a mess.

One thing to keep in mind about this picture and the dynamic stuff going on is the plane of focus. You probably remember discussions calling it “razor thin”. In this case, a slice of only about 1/8″ (3mm for those of you who speak metric) is in focus. So the pollen grains in front of and behind that slice you won’t even see – they blend into the foreground or background. In other words, we’re probably only seeing a very small fraction of the mess she’s making. Neat!

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A Favorite Bee Day for me and the Bees

This is a pretty good day for a couple of reasons (in addition to the fact that it was finally warmisher): First, our first hive came back last night from the wilds of the California almond orchards. JodyBees brought one of three or four over to the buffet. She says they’re well and healthy. And it tickles me to no end to have the little ones back in the yard. And, second, the Grape Hyacynths have started to throw pollen. I have so very many “favorite” spring bulbs (is this on a corm??), but the grapies (as I call them) could be my favorite favorite favorite. Plus, if purple had a smell, these little flowers would smell purple. I just love them. So here’s a welcome-back bee on a purple-smelling blossom. It’s a good day.

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Waving from a Tulip

I know she’s not. But sometimes it’s what it looks like. Been waiting a while for these tulips to both open and throw pollen. Still kinda cold today so the bees were sparse. But I found this little greedy one in this fantastic tulip. Check out that pollen basket on her. It’s kind of boxy-looking, but it’s huge. Getting kind of a ride’em beegirl vibe from this one. And they never last eight seconds. Always more work to be done. And that was a passel of mixed metaphors that made no sense. Apologies. I might be hungry.

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Another in Flight

Too cold today for the bees. Odd April. And could use some more precip, of course. Here’s one from the 3rd…heading toward the hyacinths. Adding a second at 100pct again. Just for fun. Again, that huge pollen basket. Something so satisfying about seeing them laden. Guess maybe because they’ve done work. But also, it’s such a funny clump of stuff. Sticky for sure. Just a glob on the leg. Plus there’s something interesting about flying around with it. They’re not the most aerodynamic lookin’ critters anyway, but with those bulging saddle bags…

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Laden over the Tulips Again

Very cool and windy and cloudy the last couple of days. So no bee shooting. This one is from a couple of days ago. And a common lament illustrated:

I resize these pictures to 1000 pixels wide (for lots of reasons, one of which is that they load faster on a phone). But when I do so (and when you look at them on your phone), you really don’t see what I see looking at a much, much higher resolution on a bigger monitor. So you don’t ever get to see what I get to see (unless you buy a large print, I guess).

So, as a counter to that today, you get two pics. The first that I’d post normally. Then a really zoomed-in version of same just showing the bee. As I see it. Enjoy. And thanks for indulging me. Oh, and look at the size of that pollen basket!!

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