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.

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Some Strange Antenna Articulation

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.

Yesterday, the longhorns were all over this particular goldenrod. Tried to catch multiples in a single shot, but failed at that. This one, though, really struck me. I’ve seen them do some strange things with their antennae, but never seen an arc like this. Just curling all the way around. I’ve also never seen them so enthusiastic about the goldenrod. Normally, they prettymuch stick to ths sunflowers. Fun fact: Only female longhorns have stingers. The males don’t. Not entirely sure how to figure out the difference, though, except for that. And that method seems dumb.

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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!

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Welcome to the Hotel Sunflower

Three longhorns this morning sleeping in what seems like a bee hotel – shot this morning. A bit of trouble with the too-few syllables in Sunflower to make it work, but sometimes you get what you get.

The longhorn bees really have an affinity for the sunflowers. I rarely see them on other blossoms. A nice bed for them. Imagining sleeping in a sunflower…maybe in another life. Strange post today. Flow of (un)consciousness or something. But, again, you get what you get…

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Two Sharing a Sunflower

This is so bad…it’s after five p.m. here, and I’ve not posted a bee yet today. When I travel, I pre-load a few new shots and schedule them to publish in the early morning (usually) – so they are available, consistently, early in the day.

When I’m here, I’m so consumed with catching up on other parts of life so I don’t post until way late. At least I’ve not missed a day. Yet.

So…here are a couple of natives sharing a sunflower yesterday. That metallic green sweat bee (again) along with a longhorn bee. The longhorns really love the sunflowers. I seldom see them anywhere else. Fun shot!

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It’s Really Summer – Longhorns and Sunflowers…

This might be the first sunflower shot of the year. I love these that are red-tinged. Here’s a longhorn in a neat position. She was grooming herself. The longhorns seem especially fond of the sunflowers. And they’re fairly aggressive and territorial. As I was shooting this one yesterday, another longhorn crashed into her – trying to knock her off/away – three different times. She maintained, though.

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So it is a Longhorn…

Still trying to figure out the species. But a great grab yesterday of it in flight. Flies lots more like a bumble than a honeybee. So pleased with this shot, too. So much detail of the little one. Plus it’s always so nice to see a sharp one in flight. I try lots but it’s really tough. Have so many “almosts”.

Raining here today so not much going on with the bees. Got another yesterday of maybe the biggest pollen baskets I’ve ever seen on a honeybee. Look forward to that tomorrow. And we’ll get out of the catmint for at least a day.

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And Another on the Sunflower…but a Longhorn This Time

Sunflower throwing pollen again. And it got all over this longhorn. Of course those are not horns, but antennae. But the name is apt, nonetheless. They really seem to like the sunflowers. And to sleep in the sunflowers, too. And they’re a pretty calm bee and don’t mind sharing. I’ve seen as many as six all tucked in together in a sunflower. Thought it looked like kids in a hostel. Just tired. Tomorrow is another big day.

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Give Thanks!

Great native on a sunflower today. Longhorn bee. That eye just gets me. And that left antenna (vs the right) really shows how razor-fine the plane of focus is on these shots (as if you need to be reminded).

Diversion here – skip this noise if you’d like:

I’m not a fan of holidays, really. This is because I think that setting aside a single day for gratitude or generosity or celebrating a person or remembering those who have passed (those just as examples – there are many more) really isn’t enough. All of those things are good things. And there’s probably nothing wrong with an annual fixed focus on those things.

I think what I’m trying to say is not so much a dig on the single-day, hard focus, but rather that I’d hope that these things would be habits in us – have become (or are becoming) innate. That we’d not need a day to honor our mothers, for example, but that would be part of who we are and how we behave – every day.

Be grateful every day and give thanks. Call your mom on a random Thursday if she’s still around. Give a gift randomly just because you’re generous – and you know it’s something the recipient will never acquire for himself. Send a “just because” card in addition to the annual birthday card.

That was kind of a loose rant. Maybe I’m saying that the reasons for the holidays we celebrate are generally good reasons. And I’d hope that these reasons are something that we can all internalize and integrate and reflect every day. And I’m looking at myself first.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

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