|The prairies at Glacial Heritage Preserve, Thurston County, May 2017|
|Bud at Mima Mounds, spring 2014|
This is the first time we’d been at P.A.D. since we lost Janet and Nancy’s father this year, two months shy of his 99th birthday. While we miss him a lot, it does free us up for more extended periods of nature exploration, not having to sort out our elder care assignments.
With this in mind we were confident that at some point Nancy would join us, and were delighted when several hours into our shift, Nancy strolled into our booth, camera in hand and bubbling over in the joy of the beauty of the prairies.
|Bombus fervidus (B. californicus)|
|Andrena transnigra? A wider face than Bombus|
From the photos you can see that while on the thorax of this bee there is a dense pile, the pile on the abdomen is sparse, almost bare. Another thing that distinguishes her from a bumble bee is her face which is as wide as it is long; compare her face to the bumble bee Bombus fervidus (aka B. californicus). Finally, one can also see that on her hind leg is a great bristle of hairs, (scopa) designed to collect pollen.
If, by the way you have a different i.d. for this bee, please let us hear your thoughts.
- - - - -I close with a couple more thoughts about my father-in-law. Bud was a man whose interests never really extended to watching birds, chasing insects or gardens and botanizing. Flight was marvelous if it included an engine and stick he could control. He loved a good meal as long as it wasn't messed up with too many vegetables, and a good conversation as long as it circled around family, friends, flight, or Hawaii.
Up until the last few weeks he was tolerant of excursions as long as a meal -- or at least a chocolate chip cookie or ice cream bar -- was part of the mission. We had little else in common except family and just showing up. But that was enough to become good friends. Towards the end being earthbound was not fun and certainly not easy. But he kept a firm handshake, a sharp wit, and mostly a good sense of humor. I miss that.
We went places.
All photos, © Nancy Partlow