Even though we're well into the new year, here are a few photo favorites from 2019. By the way, none of these photographs have been edited.
Honey bee flying with loaded pollen baskets (legs)
Butterflies love zinnias.
Flower fly on a brittlebush flower
Cabbage butterfly caterpillar
Queen butterfly chrysalis
Web on a leaf
Let's end with another honey bee.
Happy New Year!
Life can be challenging for honey bees.
For instance, take the red bird of paradise flower.
These flowers have amazing long stamens.
See the red threadlike-structures towards the left. The bumps at the ends are the anthers that produce pollen.
Collecting that pollen from such a fragile structure can be a chore.
It requires some acrobatics, even with wings.
One honey bee is using other stamens as scaffolding of sorts.
Another tries a different approach.
It's called the fly in and grab.
Grasp the anther.
And down it goes.
It would have been better as a video, but I saw a bunch of honey bees doing this.
It looked like a ride at an an amusement park. The stamen droops with the weight of the bee then springs up again when the bee lets go.
All in a day's work, I guess.
I've been stalking a neighbor's saguaro this week because it is flowering.
For those of you who don't see these giant cacti every day, saguaros usually flower in June, not September.
The flowers usually open at night, but these are staying open well into the morning, which makes them accessible to day-active pollinators like these honey bees and the carpenter bee on the right.
With all the buds, looks like they'll be enjoying flowers for a few more days at least.
Have you seen any flowers or bees this week?