Monday, May 23, 2011

Blackberry blooms, birds and bees

I have a very large blackberry patch near my beeyard. Yesterday, they were in full bloom with all kinds of bees and butterflies on them. The bird bath is used by the bees for collecting water.

This honey bee flies toward a blackberry flower while a native bee flies above. The pollen is a light gray color.

The ubiquitous bumble bee seems to visit every kind of flower around, being a very important pollinator. I counted 8 different kinds of native bees and 3 types of butterflies foraging nectar on the blackberry blossoms. The flowers needed all the different pollinators since the blooms were washed off last night by a hard rain.

This giant swallowtail was warming up early in the morning on a blackberry leaf. Later in the day, he was foraging quickly on the flowers.

This Eyed Click Beetle posed for a photo before taking off. The beetle is quite large--at least 2 inches. He feeds on larvae in decaying wood of hardwood trees. I turned him over to see if I could hear him click (snap his muscles) as he righted himself but I didn't hear it. He just flew off.

On May 11, I taped this Carolina Wren singing. I think it was one of the fledglings from about 10 days earlier.


  1. Enjoyed the bee photos; those are hard to get! I am loving the vivacious birds singing this spring also; thank you for the wee wren song! So cute!

  2. Louvregirl-it's been a good spring for bird songs.

  3. Very cool image of one bee above and one below the blossom. That beetle would make me run! Also enjoyed the sweet wren song. Your yard is lovely.

  4. Giant Swallowtails are rare in the mountains, the state record keeper might be happy to know of your sightings of them. I've been in the Va mountains a good bit and have never seen one. Do you know about Valeps listserve?

  5. Debbie--thanks for the note on the bee photo. I was at first bummed because I thought I hadn't caught a bee on the flower but then I saw I had caught it in flight. The beetle was big but not too scary.

    Randy--I didn't know that about giant swallowtails. I see them all summer here and I am in the mountains. I don't know about the Valeps listserve.

  6. I love blackberry cobbler, my old Auntie called it Blackberry Do-bee, don't know why.

    Your backyard is so green and lush! I adore birdbaths and bird watching. Wrens are so perky and small, my best friend has a brown wrens nesting each year under her west living room window.

    I have tries to capture photos of small critters without much success so far!

    Thanks for visiting and best wishes.

  7. Great pictures of the insects. Just be careful around the blackberry bushes because bears like to use them as a buffet.

  8. That beetle is sooooo cool! I didn't know we had them around here - but I did see one last year in NC for the first time.

    I LOVE the Giant Swallowtail.

    The Carolina Wren sings one of my fave tunes :) LOVE it!

  9. That Beetle is Da Bomb. Great happenings in your yard!

  10. What a great post! I'm loving all your photos and the vid, too!