After attending the funeral, I had just enough time to look for bees in a desert setting. Just for a little variety, I wanted to photograph bees getting pollen in the Arizona desert where I grew up.
In my quest for bees, I spied these two green parrots nesting in a saguaro cactus. Footnote, Lauren Harter has ID’ed these as Rosy-faced Lovebirds.
I so wanted to get some photos of bees on this bush, but I never saw a single one.
The Palo Verde trees (Parkinsonia aculeata ) were in full blossom at the airport, but it was impossible to get off the shuttle to set up a camera. Out here, the trees were just coming into bloom, but still no bees on them.
Yellow blossoms…Is it Grey Desert Senna (Senna artemisioides subsp. sturtii)? I don’t know, but it was a beautiful desert setting in someone’s front yard with Mexican Fence Post to the left, saguaro in the background, and prickly pear in foreground right…no bees, though.
A rock is embedded in this young saguaro. As it grew it must have carried it upward.
Jumping Cholla. This cactus doesn’t really jump, but if you’re walking close enough to brush it, a piece will break off and attach itself to you. It can penetrate a leather boot. If there is moisture such as contact with skin the tips will curve and lock themselves under the skin. There are actually two basketballs here, one slightly behind, left of the cactus.
I can picture a spirited basketball game where the ball gets away and bounces against a jumping cholla…and there it stays, because who wants to risk getting stuck with the sharp needles.
Gambel’s Quail hiding. They run fast out in the open, then hide under some cactus. On the video you can see it run between hiding spots.
Thanks to Lauren Harter for the name of this European Starling. In the video the bird just sits on the branch as if to listen to the other bird calls.
I asked the fence installers where I could find honeybees? They pointed to a broken cinder block that I had just about stepped on. There was my first sighting of bees.
At first I thought these had to be wasps, because I had never seen a ground hive of honeybees, but here they are with pollen baskets laden.
Ground hive bees packing orange pollen. I wonder where they’re getting it?
It’s almost time to get packed up and head back to Oregon when my son-in-law mentions he saw bees on the grapefruit trees at the house where we’re staying.
At last I find the bees, right in my own backyard.
One last desert setting at the Phoenix-Mesa airport. It’s great to visit at this time of year and while I miss the desert colors and bird song in the spring, there is no chance I want to visit in the summer.
The video features a daybreak orchestra of bird calls.
If there is moisture, such as with skin, the tips actually curve once they have made contact, locking their spines in place just underneath the skins top layer. OUCH!
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