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Posts Tagged ‘pollination’

I was attracted initially by the bright red color of a cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), but then I noticed a small amount of movement. When I looked more closely, I realized there was a tiny bee—the smallest that I have ever seen—busily gathering pollen. Rather than gathering pollen in little sacs, as I had seen other bees do, this bee seemed to be collecting it on his abdomen.

I don’t know much about plant anatomy, but as I searched on the internet, I learned some fascinating things about the cardinal flower, especially from a blog posting by Eye on Nature dealing with the way in which hummingbirds pollinate cardinal flowers. That posting contains some detailed images of the cardinal flower as well as some fantastic shots of a hummingbird.

I shot these images handheld with my 180mm macro lens. Ideally I should have used my tripod to get clearer shots, but the bee was so active that I feared that it would be gone if I had taken the time to set up the tripod.

It’s hard to appreciate the small size of the “bearded” section of the cardinal flower, so I enclosed an overall look at the flower as a final photo.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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