Pollen tramps I have known: Isabella
When I began my search for the trampiest ladies in town, the bees sent me to a stand of thistle adjacent to the appaloosa club. The thistle, standing prickly and purple in the morning sun, was asparkle with snow-white pollen—a rich spread for butterflies, beetles, and bees.
It was on one of those spiky flowers that I met Isabella. At first, I thought she was a little bumble bee, but now I’m not so sure. The surfeit of pollen was concealing her true colors, and what I thought was a white face may have been only crumbs from a hastily gathered cache of pollen or nectar.
Isabella frolicked in the thistles, diving head first into the petals, tail in the air, then resurfacing briefly only to dive again. I see no pollen baskets which makes be think she may be a he out for a morning sip of nectar. Or the bee may be another species altogether . . . I simply don’t know. In any case, s/he is my first candidate for pollen tramp of the year, basking in messiness like a kid with a popsicle.