Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘carpenter bee’

A bee and a flower—it’s such a simple, yet beautiful composition. I photographed this Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) on a globe thistle flower this past Tuesday in the garden of my neighbor and dear friend Cindy Dyer.

Some folks might suffer a little cognitive dissonance when they look at the flower in the photo and hear the name “globe” thistle. I thought about renaming it “hemisphere thistle” for the purposes of the picture.  🙂

Beauty is everywhere.globe thistle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Sometimes, simple compositions of familiar subjects result in the best images, like this recent shot of an Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) on a purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

It came out just as I imagined when I was looking through the viewfinder of my camera and required a minimum amount of tweaking and no cropping.

At times, it’s not complicated.

bee_cone_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Do your review your photos rapidly before you choose the ones to post or do you carefully and systematically evaluate them and only then select the best ones?

I am often in a hurry.  Sometimes I will stop to work on a shot that I like before I have even reviewed the complete set of images. I generally  don’t work up postings in advance and I’ll write up the posting and push the “Publish” button with out realizing that I may have unmined gold waiting to be discovered.

Only later, when I go through the entire set of shots do I realize that I have a better shot than the one I posted and realize I should have at least posted both of them. If the differences are only minor, I won’t do an additional posting, but sometimes, like today, I feel compelled to post a second image.

As was the case in yesterday’s posting, this is a shot of what I think is an Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica)—or possibly a bumblebee— on a Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). The angle and the lighting helped me capture a significant amount of the detail and texture of both the bee and the flower and the colors came through with a beautiful vibrancy. The bee was in an unusual position, which adds to the visual interest of the image.

This is one of my favorites of my recent images. You might think that this experience will teach me a lesson about the value of a full review before choosing images to process, but I suspect that this will happen again from time to time. I know my habits too well.

bee2cone_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day, but it was very breezy, which made it tough for me to get decent shots of bees in my neighbors’ garden. I am still going through my photos (and deleting a lot of them), but I was immediately drawn to this image of an Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) on a Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

Although the dark background suggests the use of flash, I wasn’t using any flash and the shutter speed of 1/400 in the EXIF data is faster than the synch speed of my flash. I was trying to get as close to the bees as I could and the height of the coneflowers made it possible to get at eye level with the bee and get this head-on shot.

bee1_cone_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Within minutes of seeing the elegant honey bee that I featured in a recent posting, I encountered this Eastern carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica), which is built more like a sumo wrestler than a dancer, especially when viewed face-to-face, as in the second image below.

 

carpenter1_blog

carpenter2_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

Read Full Post »

Yesterday I returned to my photographic roots at Green Spring Gardens, a county-run historic park, to shoot flowers and bugs, the subjects I started with six months ago when Cindy Dyer, my mentor and muse, helped me get serious about my photography. It was cloudy and cool (about 47 degrees F (8.3 degrees C) and I didn’t expect to see many insects active. There was quite a variety of flowers blooming, including many that have been present all summer. Perhaps when we have a hard freeze, some of them will die off, but for now they provide a blast of bright color that contrasts with the now fading fall foliage.

Bee in early November

I was surprised when I encountered this bee, the only one that I saw all day. It seemed to be moving slowly in the colder weather, but was industriously working on this purple flower. Judging from its relatively hairless abdomen, I think that this might be a carpenter bee rather than a bumblebee, though I am not completely sure about the identification.

I have always mentally associated bees with spring, but now, as I look more closely at nature, I realize that I have to question all of my previous assumptions. That’s probably a good thing for me to do regularly, and not just in my photography.

Bee working in the cold

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

It was a dark and cloudy afternoon and the rain was threatening to start at any moment (and eventually did). Even my usual grasshoppers and spiders seemed to have disappeared from sight. I was losing hope that I would find anything interesting to photograph when I stumbled upon a large bee on a bright yellow plant.

It looked like a carpenter bee, but the eyes were unusually light in color. I am pretty sure that it is an Eastern Carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica) and the white patch on the face indicates that it is a male. There are other photos on-line of carpenter bees with green eyes, but I am not sure how common it is to find one like this. I don’t recall ever seeing one like it before.

Male Eastern Carpenter bee

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Whenever I am shooting flowers of any sort I am inevitably drawn to bees. I love watching them flying and hovering, back and forth and in and out of the flowers.  Sometimes a bee seems to be systematically covering a group of flowers and other times he seems to be choosing randomly where to touch down before moving on, relentlessly in motion.

Here are a couple of recent shots of carpenter bees on a plant that I have been told is called salvia. I love its deep purple color and simple flowers. The first shot is a closeup of a bee. The second one gives you a better idea of the shape of the flower. Note that in both cases the bee is getting the nectar from the side of the flower and is therefore not pollinating it.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

You might think that I am going to talk philosophically about a bee, but my title is meant to be taken literally. If you click on the photo, you can actually see reflections of the sky and bushes on the shiny surface of the abdomen end of this bee.

I am pretty sure that this is a carpenter bee for two main reasons. First, the abdomen area is shiny and hairless, unlike a bumblebee who is more hairy. Secondly, the bee is sucking nectar out of the side of the flower rather than going in from the front, a process sometimes referred to as “nectar robbing.” Carpenter bees are notorious for circumventing pollination in certain plants by slitting open the side of the flower.

Perhaps others can see more reflections on the bee. It’s like looking at clouds and trying to see shapes—it’s a lot of fun and everyone sees something different. Life is like that sometimes.

Click the photo to see more details

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »