Monday, April 9, 2007

The Bees Knees

You are going to see a lot of nature images from me this spring. Sorry, but you just are. Since we have a membership to the botanical gardens, everything is doing its one week a year bloom thing, and the weather is only going to be bearable for another couple weeks I feel it is justified.

Easter Kirk and I decided that it would be a nice day to gather with some old friends and some new ones at the desert botanical gardens and enjoy a morning stroll, some nice weather and all the beauty spring has to offer.

About 3/4 of the flowering cactus species in the garden were blooming and it was a lovely morning. We lucked out in the wildlife department, and since over half the group was photographically inclined, this was in no way a bad thing. We observed dozens of quail, hummingbirds, thrashers, phainopeplas, lizards, snakes, and more.

My favorite thing of all however, were the uniquely shaped, brightly colored cactus flowers. Bonus? The majority of the blooms contained bees seemingly gleefully rolling through the pollen. They pay no mind to my lens, and continue about their business.

To some, this ruins a good botanical image. Not for me. If I didn't want him there, I could have removed him in post processing or just waited for him to leave before shooting my shot. My point of view however, is that this bee is vital to the life of the plant and responsible for the beautiful flowers I enjoy so much.

Its amusing to see people run from them, cower and squeal at the hint of a bee buzzing anywhere near them. If they took a moment to think about the creature and what it actually does, that fear and revulsion may turn to a keen interest and understanding.

For now, I welcome the small insect "blemish" into my botanical images. It reminds me to appreciate just how that flower came to be.

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