The “Currant” Situation

The “Currant” Situation

Some of the first early blooming native flowers in Colorado include shrubs in the Currant family.  It is middle April as I write this, and strong wind whips with intensity across the San Luis Valley. As the soil continues to warm, the roots of perennial native plants...
Mason Bees: Pollinator Heroes

Mason Bees: Pollinator Heroes

Mason bees, in the genus Osmia and the family Megachilidae, are extremely efficient pollinators. They are known to be one of the most important and effective pollinators for the genus Penstemon. The photo on the left below shows a mason bee on Penstemon scariosus var....
The Bouncy Butterfly Proboscis!

The Bouncy Butterfly Proboscis!

Butterfly pollination and some amazing facts: About three decades ago, I sat in an ecology class while the professor, Dr. Cheesman, went on about the amazing elasticity of the proboscis on a butterfly. I sat wide-eyed and amazed as he explained the tissues that assist...
Pollen Wasps

Pollen Wasps

Pollen Wasps will often rest in Penstemon flowers. These rested all night next to my tent. We all felt the sunrise together. Often mistaken for yellow jackets, but actually a non-stinging gatherer of pollen and nectar. You will not see a yellow jacket collecting...
Butterflies and Moths

Butterflies and Moths

“Butterflies are very active during the day and visit a variety of wildflowers. Butterflies are less efficient than bees at moving pollen between plants. Highly perched on their long thin legs, they do not pick up much pollen on their bodies and lack specialized...