Tag Archives: bee

pollen in your eye?

Why is this bee completely covered in pollen while others carry theirs in neat little bundles on their legs? That’s what I was wondering as I was taking this guy’s photo. So, I googled and found the following answer:

“Honeybees are covered with tiny hairs all over their body, even their eyes. Pollen sticks to these hairs as the bee crawls around on a bloom . The pollen particles are moistened with nectar and are then brushed down to baskets on the hind legs. The bee will collect its weight in pollen”.

Bee gathering pollen of Brittlebush bloom
bee on brittlebush

Pretty cool, huh? I love learning something new. Now I want to get a photo of a bee grooming! For other interesting bee facts, check out Buzzzonin.com

what’s blooming in the north preserve

Almost nine miles (8.64) of hiking in the North Preserve yesterday revealed wildflowers galore! The same but more of what I posted on March 6th and March 7th along with new sightings. There were some nice large areas of Poppies and Lupine on the Tom’s Thumb trail but we got there before they opened. They were scarce in the Rock Knob area but I definitely see evidence of plants so it may the last area to pop out.

Photographers FYI: Most Preserve flowers are VERY small so take a macro lens.

Click on Image for Slideshow of almost everything I saw yesterday:
bee and lupine

Tech stuff: Canon 7D with Canon 100 Macro, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/1500 sec


After Combseed, one of the next wildflowers to start showing up is Fillaree (Erodium cicutarium) and they are now out in full force almost everywhere.


I always carry a Canon 500D Close Up Lens for the times when a lens won’t focus close enough. No reduction in exposure time makes it a better choice for a “hand holder” like me. Extension tubes or teleconverters might get me closer but besides losing an f/stop or two in light, you risk getting dust on the sensor because you have to remove the lens to attach them.

Cropped section of image shot using 500D close-up lens.
bee on fillaree bloom

Finally, here’s an image showing red Fillaree leaves. Someone had asked me if it was a different plant but the red is a result of stress during very cold weather. Once again, I attached the 500D Close Up Lens to get this close.
red fillaree leaves

(Note: the extreme close-ups were cropped from originals)


The Pincushion Cactus casualty I found in the driveway the other day had been growing behind the Ocotillo you see in the photo below. I’m amazed the Javelina missed the one you see in front of it because it’s out in the open. Pincushions (Mammillaria) typically grow under the protection of other cactus or shrubs so hungry Javelinas can’t reach them. I may end up having to rescue this one.

Here’s a close up of this tiny precious survivor.

I then went for a walk in search of more blooms and within a quarter mile, found this one.

It was full of bees so it was difficult to leave 🙂

picture in picture

When shooting flowers, photographers often get a bonus of an insect they didn’t notice when they pressed the shutter. In the case of this photo, I was shooting an insect and got a bonus of another insect.

Honey Bee on Southwest Prickly Poppy
Honey Bee on Southwest Prickly Poppy

Look at the bottom right in the shadow. Is it a Butterfly or Moth? I might get a quick answer because yesterday, coincidentally, I gained some Lepidopterist friends when I went on a field trip with the Central Arizona Butterfly Association. Great group! I’m really looking forward to joining them on more adventures.

Moth or Butterfly? I'm guessing it's a moth.
Moth or Butterfly? I'm guessing it's a moth.