Uncontrolled airspace

We’re not sure what kind of tree this is, but in the spring it sprouts clusters of tiny, nondescript light green blossoms that are to pollinators as catnip is to felines. ¬†Stand within 5 feet and you will hear the tree buzz loudly. So loudly, my husband said: “it’s like standing next to a dynamo!”

Nearly every branch is in motion with the landings and departures of hundreds, if not thousands, of honeybees, carpenter bees, bumbles, wasps, butterflies and hummingbirds. Its shiny black fruits keep the birds happy through the winter.

YOU’RE IN MY AIRSPACE — Bumble bee and black swallowtail vie for the same spot on this blooming tree. Nothing like simultaneous approaches on intersecting runways.
CARPENTER BEE — Big carpenter bee in the blossoms.


The sunflowers are fascinating, not just for their size (and variations in size), but also the way wildlife interacts with them.

Yellow inchworm on sunflower
A nearly perfect disguise.
Bumble bee visits sunfloewr
Bumble bee pays one of the giants a visit.
Hummingbird docks at flower
Hummingbirds have found the sunflowers irresistible too. This bird casts a shadow on a leaf (lower right) as he docks with the flower's face.

Mellow yellow.

A 102-degree day on the mountain didn’t slow down members of the ¬†insect population from making their appointed rounds. Yellow was the color of the day.

Outwinging the flash
Yellow butterfly outflaps the flash.
Gray butterfly on yellow sumac flowers
Gray butterfly works upside down on yellow sumac flowers.
Bumblebee circumnavigates a clover flower.
Bumblebee circumnavigates a white clover's globe.