Once I began stalking honey bees with a camera, I became more and more enamored of insects in general. First I shot only honey bees, then I added other bees, and then other pollinators. Now I photograph anything even remotely connected with the outdoors. It becomes an obsession. And I’m not the only one. A […] Read more
What looks like a combination of a bumble bee and a hummingbird and a skipper? I certainly didn’t know as I began taking photos of this creature in the ligustrum bush. At first I thought it was an oversized bumble. But I soon realized that it never held still. Rather than folding its wings while […] Read more
Yesterday I saw these two little guys on the fall-flowering clematis just as the sun was setting. They look like a type of fly, but that’s all I know. Their wings glinted gold in the slanting sun, and they went from flower to flower, apparently happy to have found something in bloom.
It is easy to blame the loss of bee habitat on “them”—them being industrial farms, expansive orchards, sprayed fields, and freeways kept neat with herbicides. But in truth, our modern cities and suburbs are just as bad. We have covered the land with mulch, decking, concrete, flagstones, bricks, pavement, and lawns. None of these things […] Read more
Much has been written in recent weeks about the unconditional EPA registration of the neonicotinoid clothianidin in spite of insufficient testing. Many classes of wildlife are at risk from this insecticide including fish and aquatic invertebrates, birds and mammals, amphibians and marine mollusks, and of course terrestrial invertebrates. If you’ve got the time and patience […] Read more
Once you start studying the pollinators in your garden, you will see many different types. If you start recognizing some of your visitors, you will look forward to seeing those old friends and indentifying new ones. People seem to care more about the things they can put a name to, so I encourage you to […] Read more
After I wrote about milkweed fairies, I received the following story in an e-mail. Although I had read about this practice, I never knew of anyone who actually did it. Now I do. Kapok trees produce pods with seeds surrounded by a fluffy, yellowish fiber that is water resistant. Kapok seed “fairies” have characteristics similar […] Read more