Rocky Mountain Bee Plant: Cleome serrulata

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Rocky Mountain Bee Plant: Cleome serrulata was a wonderful late blooming wildflower near us this year. It drew numerous species of bees, and butterflies, from near and far and always had visitors when in bloom providing pollinators with a generous sip of nectar.

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Growing up to 4 ft tall Bee Plant stands out in the fields of tall fall grasses.A beautiful and very sculptural wildflower Bee Plant is fun to photograph as well.

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According to the USDA “Cleome serrulata is an important cultural plant for many Southwestern Indian tribes. The young, tender shoots and leaves are good sources of vitamin A and calcium. In the past they were used as potherbs or medicinally as teas for fevers and other ailments. The seeds were ground and used to make gruel or bread. The Navajo still use the plant as a source of yellow-green dye for their beautiful wool rugs and blankets. Many pueblo tribes use a concentrated form of dye, made from boiling the plant into a thick black resin, to paint designs on pottery or for decorating their baskets.”

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On this particular afternoon the little green sweat bees were enjoying the plant to no end.

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Every flower seems to have a visitor.

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And one last look as even the bee fly mimics got in on the action.

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More Purple

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Purple wildflowers in may shades filled the meadows all summer long. From the Bergamot or Bee Balm: Monarda fistulosa L. to the purple flowers in grass filled meadows.

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The Lupine in the alpine meadows offer a bit of pollen to the bees.

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And the Rocky Mountain Columbine. More_purple_4

All purple of a different shade and a wonderful way to remember a summer filled with flowers.

So just a bit more purple before all thought of summer fades.

Happy weekend to all.

A new one.

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It is always fun to see a new one. Here are two views of a new and interesting looking insect which we think to be a bee but could well be a fly. It smaller than a honey bee, has long antennae,  a hairy body like a bee and interesting orange wings. This was the only one like this we have encountered and is not shown in the guide to local bees making me think it may be a bee-fly mimic.

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Yes, it is indeed fun to encounter a new species of any kind to reinforce just how wonderful the diversity of life on our planet.

 

Thanks for everyones help in identification of this insect. Looks to be a Hornet-Moth.

 

 

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

We noticed this Bumble Bee loaded full with pollen climbing a small gravel bank.
Was his load to heavy for him to fly?

Further up the bank he clambered clearly on mission.

Ahhh, mission revealed, a small sip of water from along this gravel bank was what he climbed up for.

Clearly this bee knows hydration is key for a hard days work in the sun.

A few quick sips and off he flew to deliver his goods to the hive.