Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Urban Leadplant Attracts Urban Pollinators

Fine textured leadplant shares a long planter on a city street with courser textured leaves of compass plant and even finer textured prairie dropseed grass.  Even in this downtown business district, the native prairie plants attract pollinators.  This bumblebee is filling the pollen sacs on its legs with the leadplant pollen which is much more orange colored than the usual yellow pollen of most plants.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pollinators in the Prairie

On this day in early August, the layers of flowering prairie plants are not only beautiful, but the many species of pollinators present on one single day show that this front yard prairie garden is also serving as habitat.  The Monarch butterflies can be seen from the street on the white rattlesnake master flowers at left center.  But closer inspection reveals many more insect pollinators are present. Shown are several kinds of butterflies, an abundance of wasps, a few bees, and these are only the ones that are still enough for me to photograph.  I failed to capture the abundance of tiny fast flying native wasps and a couple other butterflies that are more skittish.  In autumn, when the flowers have gone to seed, there will be birds out there pecking at the seeds, which will occur all winter as various kinds of seeds soften from their seed heads and become attractive as food sources.