Been Waiting a While…Lavender

Wasn’t able to look for bees the past couple of days (art festival interfered), but today one lavender had a couple of bees. Just starting to open. Here’s a great Hunt’s bumble. Check out that orange pollen – huge chunk of it. Absolutely didn’t come from the lavender and I’m really curious about it. Happy lavender day.

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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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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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On Focus

I occasionally mention how shallow the plane of focus is when I’m shooting bees. And the closer the lens is to the target, the narrower that plane becomes. Consider the first picture: I was really close to this one…the bee nearly filled the screen. And I missed the bee with the focus and caught the tip of a hyacinth blossom. And the bee is…a blur.

I was a little farther out with the lens in the second picture and managed to get the pollen basket in focus. But most of the rest of the bee is not tack sharp.

So…in addition to a great look at a bee (in the second picture, at least), I guess you get some perspective (again) in this post.

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Another New Blossom – Glory of the Snow

Apparently, this one has been reclassified recently as a member of the squill family. Plant taxonomy is really a moving target. This one is one of my favorites. Although it blooms for a while, the window in which the bees visit is pretty narrow – meaning that it only throws pollen for a short time. Lots of flowers are that way. So you get ’em while you can…

Oh, and I really shouldn’t forget to mention her neck. It’s why I chose this photo. Never in a million years would I imagine that a bee’s neck would look like that. So very strange. But, of course, perfect.

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