Bonus – Pollen Buckets and Beebelly at High ISO

This one is a little too grainy to be a bee of the day. But I’m so taken by the shot – the bee – and the flower. First, look at those pollen buckets. So so full. Then her face – eye and mandibles. Then her belly. Then finally her posture – how she’s hanging by one leg. Sometimes they get a little stuck. She thrashed for a minute, finally turned around, put up another leg and pulled herself up – got free and flew to the next flower.

Was shot at 8:30 a.m. – before the sun crested the mountain, so not much light. When I shoot bees, I shoot in Pentax’ TAV mode. That means that I control the shutter speed (1/640 in this case) and the aperture (f/5.6 in this case) and let the camera determine the ISO. And, in this case because the light was so low/absent, it jumped to 3200. With the K-3, anything above 800 ISO gets too grainy for my tastes – especially on a tight crop like this pic.

That said, when shooting moving subjects, the ability to control both the shutter speed and aperture (all other things equal) is a great technique. If your camera doesn’t have that TAV setting, you may be able to go into Manual Mode (M on most cameras) and specify automatic ISO – effectively giving you the same thing.

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Bonus – In Flight – through the Helianthemum

Helianthemum – also known as rock rose, sunrose, rushrose, and frostweed. Pretty neat stuff…my only complaint is that it closes up early in the evening.

This particular bee wasn’t very interested in the pollen – I don’t think it was ready yet, yesterday – but she hovered around long enough for me to get almost good focus on a number of shots. And look at that huge pollen bucket (and beetongue!). Here’s one of them:

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Bonus – Essential Workers Identified!

I’ll have to admit to being frustrated by this lockdown. I’m non-essential. And how I’d make my living is currently verboten – with no real end in sight. So I sit and stew about choices and opportunities and find that I’ve put myself into a stupid spot. And by that I don’t mean chasing art – I do mean the stewing is counterproductive to anything worthwhile.

SO – it’s near-70F here. Beautiful day. I’ve got a full battery, an empty SD card, it’s light out, and I’m not wearing sunglasses… (cue Jake).

The bees KNOW they’re essential…or, better, they don’t know and don’t care and are doing their bee things. In this case, on a Rock Cress again. And I’ll do my thing – essential or no. And share a pic I just shot of a pretty girl on a pretty flower with a pretty full pollen bucket.

Made me smile. That essential thing. Hope it did you, too.

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In-flight and Crocus

From last week. Have a number of nice shots from the few warm days I’ll be posting here and there. Woke up to snow this morning, though. Spring in the Rockies, I guess. She does have wings but they’re blurry – you can barely see them, but they’re there. She’s part-way loaded up, going in for more.

That one is nearly full-frame so it blows up nicely into a very large print. That’s one of the downsides of this medium – posting only small pics. But that’s the nature of a blog – and the internet in general.

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More Asters

Honeybee in a mess of asters

Apart from the pollen on her eye and her neat pollen bucket, one of the things to notice about this photograph is the varying states of maturity of the aster flowers. The one on the lower right has just opened, whereas the one on the upper right is starting to fade. They flower profusely in the late summer until the first hard frost. After almost everything else has faded for the season, they’re still going strong and they’re really the go-to as Fall winds down. The bees just love them.

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