Sunday, April 3, 2016

A pollinator with a bad reputation

Public Enemy #1?
 You might think I'm talking about the slackerly mason bees who, as far as I can tell, have not yet woken from their slumber. Well, Scott has peered into the bee house and thinks that possibly two of the cocoons have opened but I haven't witnessed any exciting coming and going and, believe you me, I have been watching.

 Meanwhile, I've been noticing some other pollinators buzzing about, and not just the attractive avian ones either, though there have been plenty of those. No, this morning I was out front (quite frankly, admiring the tulips because they're particularly gobsmacking this weekend)

and I noticed an odd little fuzzy bug that wasn't quite bee but also wasn't quite anything else. It had the oddest way of snapping its wings into position when it landed, making me almost wonder if it was a bee drone robot. It was a fascinating little creature and seemed determined to work over the forget-me-nots so I raced into the house to fetch my camera so I could get some photos. One of these days, I tell you, I'm getting a macro lens. For now, it's a long lens and standing a ways back.

This evening I've had a chance to google and, surprisingly, quickly came up with what seems like a pretty positive identification. My little front yard pollinator is a bee fly, which the feds would have you believe is an insect with some bad habits. It seems it likes to lay its eggs in the nests of bees, and, of course, not satisfied with forcing another bee to provide for its young, those young devour the larvae of the original bee. So, maybe not so nice, but assuredly hardworking if my visitor this morning was anything to go by. (Now, perhaps, I pause to wonder if my mason bees were, in fact, replaced by these bee flies.)

And it's getting to be the time of year that I first saw the house which means I like to think in terms of "then" (from the original real estate listing):

(Okay, so this is clearly a winter shot)
And "now":
(Addition of cat is always a good move)
And the view in from the side gate:

Because, really, I love it so. The world is in no better shape than it was a week ago, but when the sun is shining in Seattle (two loads of laundry successfully hung out to dry today!), it's much more difficult to maintain a gloomy outlook.


  1. Buggy Poem which is by Me in honor of National Poetry Month

    If your bee
    Is not a bee
    It may be a Bee Fly

    When it comes
    To see your bee
    Your poor bee might die --
    Oh my!

    But all is well
    On sunny days
    For bee or fly or cat
    For flowers bloom
    In any case and that
    Is all there is to that!

    The End

  2. Truly, your talents are astounding. First the painting and now poetry, not to mention photography and spoiling of dachshunds.