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Look who I found upside down in a water bowl this week:

(About as big as your thumb to the first knuckle.)

I tipped him out and waited to see what happened.

He quivered for a moment, then flew off.

Any ideas what kind of bee it is?

Here's a hint:

These two bees are actually the same species. The big blond one is the male carpenter bee, Xylocopa sonorina. The black one is the female. It isn't uncommon to see the females flying about and visiting flowers.

The males are less common. They spend their time marking plants with pheromones (scents) to attract the females.

And, if you were wondering, male carpenter bees don't sting so I could get close to take the photograph.

Do carpenter bees live where you are?

2

Back to the hollyhocks.

The light is so lovely on the white flowers.

Wait, what's that on the stem below the buds at the top?

It is a tiny praying mantis nymph.

Too cute.

Have you ever seen a newly-hatched praying mantis nymph?