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Posts Tagged ‘globe thistle’

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.

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I love bees and spent quite a while on Monday in the garden of my friend and neighbor Cindy Dyer observing them and trying to photograph them. I had no idea that lamb’s ear plants produce flowers, but the bee in the first photo certainly was aware of that fact when I spotted it busily at work. The bee in the second shot decided to try an acrobatic move to gain access to the nectar in the lavender plant that swung wildly each time the bee landed on it. In the final shot, I captured the bee as it was crawling all over a flower of a cool-looking globe thistle plant.

I am not very good at identifying bees, but I think these bees are all Eastern  Carpenter Bees (Xylocopa virginica). Unlike bumblebees that have fuzzy abdomens, carpenter bees have shiny, relatively hairless abdomens.

 

lamb's ear

lavender

globe thistle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Where do you find beauty in your daily life? I often feel a sense of awe and wonder when I simply contemplate the gorgeous flowers in the garden of my neighbors.

I think the white flowers are a variety of coneflowers and the purple sphere in the upper right corner is a globe thistle.

Coneflowers

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Globe Thistles (Echinops ritro) are among the coolest plants in my neighbors’ garden. They have a wonderful texture and stand tall, topped with fantastic balls of tiny flowers tinged with blue, purple, and pink.

It’s Friday and I figured for fun that I’d take a short break from insects and feature a few photos of fantastic flowers.

Globe Thistle

Globe Thistle

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Globe Thistles (Echinops ritro) have an interesting geometric look when viewed from a distance, but they get even more magical up close, when the spiky parts of the flower seem to glow like little Christmas lights.

As I was admiring the thistles in my neighbors’ garden, I spotted this beetle, which I think might be a Banded Longhorn Beetle (Typocerus velutinus). The beetle was slowing searching for prey, weaving his way through the spiked protrusions of the plant. I decided to try to get at eye level with the beetle and to shoot through the thistle.

In most of the shots that I took, the beetle’s face was hidden, but I was happy to get this image in which the face and antennae are visible. Given that the beetle was moving, I am also content that this macro shot is pretty much in focus and the important elements are not blurred.

thistle_bug_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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One of my favorite plants in my neighbors’ garden is the Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro), a magical plant that has fantastic balls of tiny flowers tinged with blue, purple, and pink and has the additional benefit of attracting bees.

The plant’s spherical shape makes it a little tough to photograph and creates real issues with depth of field, but I managed to get a few shots that highlight both the shape and texture of the plants and the activity of the bees that were gathering pollen from them.

thistle2_blogthistle_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Before going out to the marsh park to shoot this morning, I decided to check out my neighbor’s garden and came across this bumblebee, hanging from the side of a a beautiful Small Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro).

I took some initial shots and then began to wonder if the bee was still alive, because it was not moving at all. When I blew gently on its face, however, it moved a little, so I figure that it was probably just sleeping. I carefully set up my tripod and got as close as my lens would let me get, which caused the bee to fill a substantial part of the frame.

I managed to capture some details that normally I do not see, like the little lines on the antennae and the hairs on the bee’s face. The bee was still sleeping when I departed—I didn’t want to risk the possibility that bees get angry if you wake them up prematurely.

close-up_bee1_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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