Sunday, July 13, 2008

Oh Bee-have!

The Veronica flowers not only attract the Painted Lady I showed you in the last post, but also bees. I noticed that the butterfly had returned, but was being chased off by the bees collecting nectar from the blossoms.

Yet it isn't only butterflies that the bees chase away. They were also buzzing each other. I noticed two in particular that were continually at odds with one another.

After taking pictures of them, I think I see why. Althought I am not sure, I think they may be members of two varieties of bee. The one in the first photo has the yellow and black stripes we commonly associate with honeybees. Notice the bee in the second photo. It is black, with no yellow. Reminds me of the black suit that took over Spiderman in the last movie. Now I can't say for sure which one is the aggressor, or if both are a bit testy with each other. However, I thought this was an interesting observation.

All too often, I think people are so caught up in the issues of our own lives that we fail to notice some of the drama that nature provides on a smaller scale around us. Sometimes we have to slow down and look at the details, and only then do we get a glimpse into another existence.

Another Butterfly Flies In

Today is another beautiful day along the Colorado Front Range, and I am seeing more benefit from all the flowers we have planted. Butterflies, bees, birds, and other garden creatures continue to visit. Today, the lovely spouse called me out to the back garden to see a beautiful orange and brown butterfly that was enjoying the nectar from the Veronica flowers. These flowers, also known as Speedwell, must be very attractive, as when we bought them at the nursery, a bee was hovering on them, even as we pushed them around on our cart.

This time, I was able to grab the Olympus E-500 with a zoom lens on it, and got a few nice shots of this visitor to the garden. As usual, you can click on any of the pictures for a larger version that will let you see more detail.

This particular butterfly has different markings on the top and bottom of the lower wing set, and it was fluttering its wings occasionally. However, most of the time, it was just holding them together while enjoying the nectar from the Veronica blossoms.

As you can tell by comparing the Tiger Swallowtail photos in the last post, the Olympus does a much better job at capturing fine detail than the little Gateway camera can handle. I had hoped to get a good shot of the open wings on this guy, but when he opened them, it was only for a quick little flutter, and I only managed to get the open with some blurring. The third photo in this post is the best I got of the wing tops.

By doing a little research, I have identified this fellow as a variety of butterfly called a Painted Lady. These are one of the most ubiquitous butterflies in the world.

Above: Another crisp shot of this beautiful Painted Lady Butterfly

Below: View of wing tops on this butterfly