Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bugs & Blooms 1

I've decided to showcase some of the beautiful flowers on the Museum grounds as well as a few insects that visit these flowers for food--usually nectar, but sometimes pollen as well.  And it's a good thing that insects visit flowers because they help with pollination.  Here's a few shots I took in June, 2013....first:  Carolina bush peas send up an elegant long stalk topped with a spire of bright yellow flowers, very attractive to bees and other insects.  Here the flowers are visited by a bumblebee:
Some wasps also like nectar--this one is on butterfly weed flowers:
One of my favorites:  purple coneflowers.  They attract a variety of insects, but butterflies really like them.  Here's a silver spotted skipper--see the proboscis (tongue)?--think of it as a curled up soda straw!
Our Horticulture Department is absolutely amazing!--Bruce, Darl, and Michael work very hard with their corps of dedicated volunteers to make sure that there's something in bloom from the very start of spring till late into fall.  They plant lots of native plants--great for wildlife and very well adapted for the local environment, too.  Anyway, another type of coneflower they plant on the grounds is the pale coneflower--look how beautifully complex the flower structure is:
Not everything hangs around plants for nectar--sometimes insects wait around for their chance to pounce on other insects!  This assassin beetle was perched on a seed pod of a false blue indigo plant:
Dragonflies are fierce predators, and this blue dragonfly was perched atop the bright purple flowers of the pickerel weed plant--a great vantage point to scope out prey:
I'll do more Bugs & Blooms later, but I'll leave you with one other photo--sorry no bugs on this, but I had to include it because it was such a gorgeous blossom--a day lily.  I focused in on the stamen, while capturing the back-lit flower petals--I hope you enjoy it!
More in two weeks!

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