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?
My neighbor's cactus was covered with flowers this morning.
Getting a clean shot wasn't easy.
A carpenter bee kept photobombing.
But check out how cool it looks in flight.
Maybe it was the flowers who were photobombing?
A few weeks ago, the wolfberry was in bloom and covered with insect visitors.
Today the Texas sage is blanketed with flowers.
We had a lot of rain this month, and Texas sage plants bloom in response to humidity and rain.
The insects respond, too.
The thumb-sized carpenter bees caught my eye, but they were too fast for a close up.
Does this look like a honey bee?
Surprise! It is a syrphid fly. It was more cooperative and sat still for its photograph.
Here's another smaller syrphid fly (sometimes called a flower fly.) It also posed.
The honey bees looked strange. Instead of the usual golden brown, most were covered with white pollen.
Would you believe the thorax of this sweat bee is bright green?
It looks like it is covered with snow.
All these insects are pollinators, which means they carry pollen from plant to plant and help many types of plants produce viable seeds. Some recent reports have shown that pollinators may need extra assistance in order to survive and thrive. Check out a recent article which suggests being messy in the garden is a good way to provide places for pollinators to shelter over winter.
Messy? That's easy to do!