On the same afternoon when I photographed Steven doing doughnuts on the tractor while cutting the grass, I stopped to take a look at the wild flowers growing at the edge of the lawn. The black and white project is to feature 'living things' for tomorrow and I was looking for subjects. As I stood there, a bee flew in to feast on the nectar and I quickly focused to catch a photograph of it. Just then, taking both the bee and me by surprise a crab spider dropped from its hiding place and pounced on the poor thing. It seemed to bury something into the bee that surely paralysed or stunned it and then it twist it in its legs, presumably while it proceeded to suck it dry, which it apparently does. There was nothing I could do but continue to watch and photograph as by the time I knew what was happening the bee was finished. Later, when I got to see the pictures I had taken, the first one, a little out of focus from my haste, showed the bee about to land and, almost completely hidden, but just about to descend to attack, the spider. I had not been aware of it but the camera had caught it.
There is a beautiful clump of brightly coloured asters that grows wild down the side of our drive. Every time I walk by it is buzzing with bees and a closer look shows that every flower has a bee. As one tires of the bloom and flies to the next, a new bee takes its place. The cars going by on the road below cause a constant wind that blows bees and blooms around, making it difficult to catch a still moment to photograph. I did manage this time.
Originally posted on Google+ October 30, 2014 Image re-edited October 2020
This bee looks almost as if he is wearing jodhpurs, his leg sacks are so packed with pollen. If you look at the centres of the flowers, you see the ones that he has stripped as they are almost white. The ones waiting for his visit are the same golden colour as he is carrying on his legs.
Today I tried another tactic: I just sat there, in the patch of periwinkle flowers with the camera ready and waited. I hoped that at some point one or more of these little creatures would come within range of my lens. As I was already sitting there, I would already be at the right level and would just need to focus wherever they were. The light kept changing from brilliant sun to shadow as the sun came and went behind the clouds, so I switched from manual to AV and let the camera do the adjustments on the fly (get it? 😉 )
So my patience paid off. I love the way the fur on his little back is so neatly combed. I chose this one for this reason, while another I took showed amazing long hairs on little legs that you can't see at this angle. How shiny his legs are.