Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thursday Tidbits for September 15
Bees on the goldenrodBuzz in the Back
For the past several weeks there's been a buzz in the back field. This time of year the field is dominated by goldenrod, and each blossom has multiple bees collecting the goldenrod nectar and pollen.

There are bumblebees, honey bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets.

The goldenrod bloom is their last chance to collect food for the winter.

As the dogs and I walk down the mowed paths between the goldenrod, we brush against the plants that are leaning onto the path. The bees are so busy they don't even notice us.

Close up of bee on the goldenrodGathering the Gold
In this bee closeup, you can see the loaded, golden pollen sacs on the bee's legs.

The goldenrod pollen is very high quality and protein rich. It's also very sticky and easy to collect. It doesn't go airborne, which is why goldenrod is not responsible for fall allergies. It only gets blamed because it is so abundant and colorful.

Snap the Apple
The large snapping turtle came out of the pond, walked up the bank to the apple tree, grabbed an apple in its mouth, and ran back to the water.

It's one of the regrets of my summer that I didn't get a picture of that. Snapping turtles gathering apples are much quicker than I would have guessed.

Once the turtle was back in the pond, it let go of the apple. The apple floated on the water, and the turtle ate it from the bottom, under the water. Bob and I watched the apple bob around while the turtle was eating, amazed at what we were watching.