Nature Friday ~ June 11, 2021

TDIF (thank dog it’s Friday)! Welcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday. As always, we’re joining that pawsome quartet, blog hosts Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard to see what’s going on with Mother Nature through the eyes of Blogville’s finest. Be sure to click on the link to check out what others are sharing.

This week has been a heat lover’s dream. For six days in a row, the temp has exceeded 90ºF. All those lush lupines are beginning their final hurrah. But no fear, garden pollinators are still enjoying them.

Yesterday morning I noticed a bumblebee slurping at rhe lupines. Did you know bumblebees have over 250 species in the genus Bombus and are generally found primarily at higher altitudes or latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, although there are some lowland tropical species that have been identified in South America. Unlike honeybees, bumblebees have the ability to sting repeatedly, but they generally ignore humans and other animals.

Most bumblebee varieties are traditional social insects which form colonies containing a single queen, although their colonies tend to be smaller than those of their honeybee cousins.

Bees

Bumblebees have rounded bodies covered in soft hair making them appear and feel fuzzy. Their coloring which is known as aposematic (i.e. warning) coloration, consisting of contrasting bands of color. In our garden, the traditional black and yellow bands rule. Female hind legs are modified forming a pollen basket, a bare shiny area surrounded by a fringe of hairs, which is used to transport collected pollen.

Like their relatives the honeybees, bumblebees feed on nectar, using their long hairy tongues to lap up the liquid. Their proboscis is folded under the head during flight. This lady must have been on a real bender judging by her tenacious drinking of the lupine nectar.

Bees

Watching this female was quite zen inducing. She buzzed from one floweret to another, making sure she got every drop of that delicious brew. I sat and watched her for quite some time as she industriously went about her work. Notice the orange-ish pollen bucket?

Bees

Bumblebees weren’t the only visitors yesterday morning. Shortly after the bumblebee moved on to another part of the garden, I heard this guy buzzing about. Not sure what kind of bee it is, but it was noisy and frenetic with its pollen search. He’s kind of hard to pick out so the area where he was at has been enlarged for easy spotting. I’m guessing some kind of wasp. Not my favorite garden visitor!

Bees

But pollinators weren’t the only things we discovered this week. On yesterday’s early morning walk, we came across this mega dandelion seed head. It pretty much stopped me in my tracks. It was so fascinating to focus on the spines that hold the actual seed. It was a good 3-4 inches across. There’s gotta be a boatload of prospective weeds in this single plant!

Dandelion

Whatever you end up doing this weekend, we hope you are able to get out early to avoid the heat and be sure to wear sunscreen and keep hydrated. It’s gonna be a scorcher here and through next week as well so we’ll be getting out at sunrise to avoid the heat or hanging out in the shade seeing what nature offers us next. Have a great weekend!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

58 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ June 11, 2021

  1. Cool shots of the bumblebee. We have no wish to feel how fluffy they are. We’ll take your word for it. Mom wrote a story about a lazy bumblebee named Becker. So far, nobody published it. Duh.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

    1. What a cool name for a bumblebee, Cupcake. We don’t understand why no one published it.

  2. We’ve seen more bees this Spring than EVER…….our front porch has a row of azaleas in front of it so I can sit in my rocker on the porch and watch the bees closely – I find it very relaxing and fascinating. We also have a lot of hornets, wasps, and other critters that visit the bushes so no shortage of visual stimulation!!! Love love love your photos as usual – gorgeous.

    Hugs, Pam

  3. Summer can leave anytime, and its still officially over a week away! LOL! As much as I dislike the cold and storms of a Michigan winter, I detest the heat and humidity of our summers…so in winter I might grumble about the cold, but I’ll never say that I wish it was summer! LOL! Where I grew up in Southern Ontario, it was much the same as here.

    Now we know where the term ‘Busy as a bee’ comes from:
    Lovely pics!!
    I’m shuddering at the wasp…

    Hope you (and us) get some relief from the heat.

  4. I love bees! Hearing the buzzing while I work in the garden is so soothing. I think your second bee is a solitary bee, of which there are plenty of species (our area has over 400). With the decline of honeybees, these are in danger as well, but not as badly… we need them all! And I think your giant ‘dandelion’ is Salsify. They are like dandelions on steroids!
    Have a great weekend!

    1. Oh wow, I should have known someone would be really up on bees! What great info. Thank you!! You’re quite right on that dandelion which is very much like Salsify. At any rate, LOTS of potential dandelions just waiting to pop up! 🤣

  5. THE Bumbellbee iss aoorabell…LadyMew sayss shee wuud love to stroke his fuzzy!!
    When shee saw foto of THE other Buzzer shee meowed “Murdur Hornet!” (Shee iss a bit fixated ’bout them).
    Mew mew mew…
    That dandylion fluff uss specktaculur Miss Monika
    **purrss** BellaDharma an ((huggiess)) LadyMew

  6. What a beautiful post about Lupines and bumble bees and bees. But I have a thing about them, since they are all bees, I trust none of them. I am scared of all bees. I run away from them. I don’t want to be bitten or sting by any of them. The Lupines are beautiful.

    1. That’s understandable but I have never had any problems with bumblebees. They tend to go about their work snd leave me and the dogs alone. Good thing!

  7. I just took a CA native plant gardening for pollinators webinar yesterday, and learned that our endangered Mission Blue Butterfly needs the Silver Bush Lupine as a host!

    1. Triple digits await us as well. It’s not even ‘officially’ summer yet and I’m already over it. 🥵 Even beer won’t quench the kind of parch we’re gonna have.

  8. I loved learning more about the bumble bees! We had a heat wave for a few days, and now today it’s only in the 60’s! Something in between would be nice. 🙂

    1. Oh wow, I’d kill for 60’s. With the high altitude and bright sunny skies, the heat is very intense. On the plus side, we don’t have the humidity others have so it’s what we affectionately call…”a dry heat.” 😇

    1. It really IS mesmerizing. I could watch them for hours. So busy, so industrious. Norman tries to ‘eat’ them too. Luckily he’s fairly slow at it. Bee stings in the mouth are no fun. at. all.

  9. Bumblebees do ignore humans. Yesterday a bumblebee was taking the nectar from a plant and reached across the plant before i realized a bumblebee was siting there, When I did realize the bee was there I quickly pulled my hand back. The honeybee wasn’t the least bit put out. He just kept taking that nectar and ignored me.

    Jean

    1. They really seem driven in their chore of gathering up the pollen. So cool to watch.

  10. Lovely to see the bumblebees….we have tiny bees nesting on our balcony…they donlt bother us, we donlt bother them. It was tragic to see the decline of bees when we were in France. No contented humming in the spring flowering trees…and all due to disgraceful farming practices.

    1. We’ve had a fair kill off here in the states too from colony collapse and tiny mites. So sad because they are so integral to successful farming.

    1. All I can say is thank goodness for AC! I close all the windows and pull the blinds/drapes during the day, open them up at night. At least we don’t have the humidity that often plagues the south or eastern seaboard.

  11. Beautiful flowers and that bee was a nice touch. I’m glad you enjoyed watching her.

    Today’s high will be 77 degrees and that’s warming up for the low 70s we’ve had all week. We’re on the boat right now and the heater is on. It’s chilly this morning.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. Scritches to the pups and a smooch to Norman. ♥

    1. That sounds like the perfect temp to me! Enjoy being out on the water and have a pawsome weekend. Norman sends pupster kisses.

  12. Our heatwave ended and, according to MeteoMedia (our “specialists in weather”) we won’t be seeing a return of the heat for a good while – which I don’t know why peeps are surprised – for the past few years, our Junes have sucked. Usually we get that hot week in May, crap and cold until end of June when summer returns full force.
    Now, back to business. Those bee shots are fantabulous! I had no idea about the pollen bucket and would not know a male from a female if it stung me on the nose!
    That dandelion head is gigantic!
    Have a Fabulous Friday and Wonderful Week-end Monika!

    1. Your praise means a lot. I’m surprised our weather has been so hot this early in the season. It’s supposed to reach 100 by Wednesday and makes me wonder just how bad July and August are gonna be. 😖

      1. We were hit with hot way earlier, too. And today and tomorrow are what I call perfect weather. 79 with zero humidity. We’re expecting a week in the low to mid-70s with rain and stuff. Frankly, in the past few years, we’ve had one hot week in May, followed by a shitty and cold June and the heat starts up again at the end of September. What we had last week was outta norm!
        Your photos were fabulous!

        1. As always you’re too kind. Looks like crazy will be the new normal for temperatures everywhere. Not much one can do about it but grin and bear it. 😇

  13. Great pics of the bumblees and lupines! Yes, I don’t care for wasps either!
    Its cool here today and rainy, but we have had some scorching 90 degree days. Stay cool this weekend! Eat ice cream. 🙂

  14. beautiful photos!! We have been unseasonably warm too, June just started and we have already had a few days over 90. It’s crazy!

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