Saturday, June 1, 2013

Come to the Color

So many flowers are blooming right now. I feel like I'm seeing old friends as I recognize them. Some flowers are new to me, and they become new friends. I'm a bit behind in identifying some, but I do try to take lots of photos so I can eventually learn their names.

As I was driving to work this week, I spotted cactus blooms from Plains Pricklypear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha). Flowering cacti have a special place in my love for flowers. The contrast between the prickly, mean cactus pads and the beautiful, delicate blossoms is something I will never be able to fully comprehend. But I can enjoy them, so I braked and went over for a closer look.

  I quickly saw that I wasn't the only one attracted to the colorful flowers. Bumblebees buzzed from one flower to another, and upon closer inspection, I could even see the pollen sticking to the bees hairs.

Flies and beetles wandered around the petals. National Pollinator Week is June 17-23, but I'm already appreciating our wonderful pollinators! I've planted native flowers in my yard to try and encourage even more pollinators to come visit.

 I was surprised to see this little spider hiding out in the cactus flower. What was it doing? Eating some of the insects that were attracted to the flower? Maybe visiting beautiful flowers isn't quite as peaceful as we think!

 I've been developing a better appreciation for spiders as I get ready for the Great Basin National Park Arachnid BioBlitz, to be held July 8-10. If you want to learn more about spiders and other arachnids, this is an event you won't want to miss!

I've got to go--so many wildflowers to go and visit this weekend!

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