This is by far one of my favourite photographs. Taken with my iPhone 3GS back on June 3, 2012. I was sitting in the yard on the ledge of the small herb garden hanging out with my kids and observing the so many bees at work. It was pure luck to catch this particular bee in flight just before he landed on the flowering chive. I love that I can see his legs dangling and his wings are even a little bit in focus! Nice going little iPhone!
Editing done in Instagram to give it that old world, a-moment-in-time-feeling.
Finding Beauty Everywhere.
These are some photos I took one year ago (May 2013). I had a beautiful pot of lavender on my outside deck. The weather was hot and the sun was shinning. This fuzzy bee caught my eye and so I ran for my camera. The bee seemed to linger for quite some time enjoying the lavender.
Note that this is most certainly a bee, with very obvious L-shaped antennae, unlike the bee-fly from the previous post.
Related article: “Plant a Bee Attracting Garden”
Finding Beauty Everywhere.
On March 9, 2014, I stepped outside, delighted but not surprised to see the crocuses in full bloom. What did surprise me, however, was to see the first bee of the season; surely, was it not too early? I snapped some photos until the ‘bee’ took his leave.
Upon researching a little more about what I had photographed, I learned that bees have long L-shaped antennae and have four wings. These were details that I hadn’t noticed before. If they were striped, landed on a flower but especially with a fuzzy body… The moral of this story is far more reaching – how we look at everything and everyone. Once we engage, ask questions and begin to understand, compassion follows.
The ‘bee’ in these photos turns out to be a bee-fly. With only two wings, the bee-fly has much more control when flying and has more precision when hovering. The bee-fly has huge eyes, which take up his entire head. Similar to bees, the bee-fly feeds on the nectar in flowers and some bee-flies are very important pollinators. There are hundreds of kinds of bee-flies, some look like honey bees, bumble bees, yellow jackets or wasps.
Did you know?
At least 71% of the 150 ‘true flies’ (Diptera) families include flies that feed at flowers as adults. Diptera (Di = two, ptera = wings) have been documented to be primary pollinators for many wild and cultivated plant species. Many people think of flies as a nuisance (although there are many species that are!), few people realize their importance in the life cycle, such as:
- food for valued bird and fish species
- pest control
- as decomposers and soil conditioners
- water quality control indicators
- as pollinators of many plants
Bee-flies seem to be the first to grace our beautiful flowering buds in early spring because they are more tolerant of the cold. So, in light of learning about their value, won’t you join me in looking more closely at these stunning creatures? Let’s encourage all pollinators to visit without being shooed away! 🙂
Finding beauty everywhere.
These photographs were taken with a Nikon D7000, AF-S Micro Nikkor 85mm lens.
The crane fly is a type of fly. It is an insect.
Crane flies resemble and are often mistaken for very large mosquitoes, but unlike mosquitoes, crane flies
do not bite or sting people or animals.
The female crane fly has a much larger and longer abdomen than the male crane fly. At the end of the female abdomen is a severe point, which gives the appearance of a stinger. Crane flies, however, cannot and do not sting.
You will see a photo of two crane flies mating. My son was with me when we saw them. They were on the grass and we nearly stepped on them. He thought it was inappropriate that I take their picture – as a parent, I’m thrilled he as a conscience! What are the chances to come across a pair of crane flies mating? I was amazed.
Unfortunately, I only had my iPhone 4S to take this photograph and it is somewhat limited in the macro department.
An interesting fact to learn about this gentle insect is that once they become adults, most adult crane flies feed on nectar or nothing at all, and in lieu of eating they mate, then die.
So next time you see a crane fly, don’t panic. They are harmless and have quite poor flying skills. They are also very delicate, in the case you need to relocate one outside.
About these photographs:
Taken with a Nikon D7000 and iPhone 4S.
Dragonfly (Anisoptera) vs. Damselfly (Zygoptera)
- Dragonflies keep their wings open at rest, as seen in these photographs. Damselflies’ wings are held closed.
These images are of two different Dragonflies. The first image is of an injured, reddish Dragonfly. I was out for a dog walk with my kids and came upon this Dragonfly just resting on the sidewalk. “What’s it doing there?” It didn’t move for a while. I pulled out my iPhone and snapped a picture before the dog pulled me away. Only later, when I looked at the photo did I notice why the Dragonfly was just sitting there. All three legs on his left side were not positioned like the other side.
My daughter pointed out the other, greenish Dragonfly. “Look!” I grabbed my Nikon, which luckily had the macro lens already attached. As I approached the Dragonfly, I just started snapping in case it should fly away. Lucky for me, I had a very patient model and was able to capture these photographs before it had had enough of this paparazza.