Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Summerland Bees: Those Hairy-Legged Beasties

Road trip! Yay! I've always wanted to brake for lupins, and that's exactly what we did, between Merritt and Peachland on highway 97C.

 There were many color variations in the lupins at the site and it was mysteriously bereft of bees, but miserably rich in mosquitoes, being a bit wet and soggy.

I was reduced to immortalizing a handsome syrphid on Douglas aster.

There were wild strawberries all over this site, reminding me of summer camp in the foothills of Alberta.  Those red runners are a striking feature.

Not sure what this is. Can anyone help me with the ID? It's about 2.5 to 3 feet tall.

 #CookingwithPooh #localwildingredients (-:

There was pearly everlasting and pussytoes here too.

There's a lot packed into this small ground sample: red capped fungus, wild strawberry, lupin, yarrow, and something else.

I'll just call it nipple fungus--for burlesque reasons--and here's the underside of the cap.

 This shrub looked like Labrador tea, but it wasn't quite right. The leaves were too soft. Something in the rhodo family.

 There was also this cool, black leathery fungus.

It looks like a man-eating plant here. Or maybe a bee-eating plant.

I also found a yellow spongey fungus. I was forced to look at mycelium because there just weren't any bees. Le sigh.

Pussy toes and (maybe) gentian.

 And now for a completely different landscape we headed to the Summerland Ornamental Gardens Xeriscape Garden. I just head straight to the beds by the cacti. It's hummingbird alley, with the tiny hummers zooming over and around you as you ignore them to take photos of bees.

Gotta love the way the bees crawl into the penstamen flowers, but then they are hard to photograph in their private foraging chamber. I saw a hoplitis on these for sure, but couldn't get a photo.

I think this is a hyperparasitoid wasp that was noodling around on the plumbago foliage.

 I had a gut feeling this would be good agapostemon territory. Look at how those large pollen grains bulk up the setae on her legs.

I was most excited about this sighting. Look at how the legs kind of mimic the stamens. It's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins when the bee is in the flower. Anthophora or Melissodes? I've got to think about this one!

I'm wondering if these holes were made by small leafcutter bees?

Let's plant some of this purple poppy mallow!

There were scores of "tiny shinies" in the garden, and many hb's.

 I'm thinking this is an Andrena with a very distinct marking on the lowest tergite. (See below.) It almost looks like a faux stinger. Clever bee.

Next, we drove down to Linden Gardens, south of Penticton. There was an uncanny lack of bees in the garden, which should have been buzzing with activity. I noticed the bumblebees we did see were incredibly skittish. We saw Bombus griseocollis here and at the Summerland Xeriscape garden. even though she's a bit worn, the pollen from some other flower she visited is stuck in the sweet spot on the lower middle of her thorax.

Then suddenly a storm came out of nowhere, and just about blew us away. We figured the smaller bees had sensed it coming and wisely took shelter.

This might be small leaf cutter action on hydrangea petals and leaves. But where are the bees?

This bench would be a fun place for a photo shoot.

Is it just me, or does this bee have a really weird head gestalt??? I mean it looks like Bombus, but not with that squashed head and bulging eyes.

Deconstructed pavlova in the sweet garden cafe. You had me at whipped cream.

A pic of the glads because my mom likes them and used to grow them in her veggie garden.

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