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Posts Tagged ‘aster’

My eyes were attracted to the pinkish-colored asters when I spotted them last Friday at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge and I moved closer to investigate them more closely. I was delighted to see several green metallic sweat bees (g. Agapostemon) busily gathering pollen. I have always loved the coloration of these sweat bees that are so much smaller than the bumblebees and carpenter bees that I am more used to seeing.

The sweat bees were in almost constant motion and I got a little dizzy as I tried to track their circular movement around the center of the little flowers. I was happy that I was able to get a few shots in which the speckled eyes of the bees are visible—you may want to double-click on the images to enlarge them and see this cool little detail.

Asters generally appear in my area in late summer and early fall, another sign that the seasons are starting to change. I am not ready to let go of summer, though I must confess that I enjoy the somewhat cooler weather that we have been experiencing, especially during the nighttime hours.

sweat bee

sweat bee

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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The large butterflies seem to be gone, but I continue to occasionally see smaller sulphur butterflies nectaring on late blooming flowers.

There are several different varieties of sulphur butterflies that look a bit alike, so I am not certain in identifying this butterfly. At first I thought that this might be a Pink-edged Sulphur (Colias interior), but the range maps suggest that we may not be in the correct geographic region for that species.

I think it is more likely that this is a Clouded Sulphur butterfly (Colias philodice). As for the flower, it looks to me to be some variety of aster.

The weather is definitely getting colder—I had to scrape frost off my car’s windshield earlier this week—so I don’t know how much longer I’ll be seeing these little beauties. Beauty so often is transitory; all we can do is enjoy it and appreciate it until it is gone.

Clouded Sulphur

Clouded Sulphur

Clouded Sulphur

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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