A spider web is nature's lace, a symmetrical work of wonder.
Well, a sticky, deadly trap if you're an insect. Then you become just another tasty morsel for the predacious, albeit artistic, spider.
Watching an orb weaver or garden spider maneuver a web...
ORB WEAVER at work. The end product is nature's lace and an engineering feat, and, if she's lucky, a feast tonight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
SPIDER ART is a combination of delicacy and strength. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Catching up with the carpenters is not always easy.
Not the construction workers--the carpenter bees.
They move fast as they buzz from flower to flower.
California is home to three carpenter bee species, says native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp,...
Male Carpenter Bee
MALE CARPENTER BEE, Xylocopata tabaniformis orpifex, robbing nectar from sage. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Female Carpenter Bee
FEMALE CARPENTER BEE, Xylocopata tabaniformis orpifex, robbing nectar from sage. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Thar’s gold in them thar hills.
And also bumble bees.
If you visit the Sonoma County coastal town of Bodega Bay, and drive up to Bodega Head overlooking the ocean, you’ll see a carpet of gold flowers known as coastal goldfields or Lasthenia...
Windswept Bumble Bee
BUMBLE BEE (Bombus bifarious) nectaring coastal goldfields at Bodega Bay. This species is the second most common bumble bee species at Bodega Bay. This is a worker or female. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Male Bumble Bee
MALE BUMBLE BEE, a Bombus bifarius, nectaring coastal goldfields at Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The Eyes Have It
THIS BUMBLE BEE, a worker or female bee, is a Bombus vosnesenskii, the most common bumble bee at Bodega Bay. She is nectaring coastal goldfields (Lasthenia minor), a native wildflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Oh, to be a queen bee...
Her Royal Highness (HRH) is quite pampered. She's always surrounded by her royal attendants, called the retinue. They tend to her every need. They feed and groom her. They keep her warm or cool, depending on the temperature...
CLASSIC RETINUE--A queen bee is surrounded by her royal attendants--the retinue. (Photo courtesy of Susan Cobey, Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis)
RETINUE--It's easy to tell which bees are the queen's retinue or royal attendants. They're NOT the ones--bottoms up--cleaning the cells. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) looks like a Lady in White when she perches on catmint.
The colors are striking: A long, flowing white gown nestled among the rich lavender blossoms and earthy green leaves.
UC Davis Butterfly expert Art...
CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY(Pieris rapae) nectars catmint. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
THIS CLOSE-UP shows the cabbage white butterfly, aka Lady in White, sipping nectar from catmint. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)