Salamanders and frogs have started their migrations to vernal pools, for fabulous nights of free love and egg laying. It is a short lived affair, oft lit by the lanterns of awe-struck herpetologist. I confess, I have been known to don the waders and partake in a bit of voyeurism, myself.
But nothing says "spring" like the pollinators.
The earliest of pollinators for the earliest of flowers- Harbinger-of-Spring (or Salt and Pepper), Erigenia bulbosa. This hairy little bee has his winter coat on, to protect it from the cool spring temps. These early bees are a short-lived seasonal occurrence.
The Witch Hazel, (Ozark witch-hazel) Hamamelis vernalis is now being pollinated by a very early spring bee. Unfortunately, I can't ID either of these interesting native insects. A fact I can tell you: since the threat of colony collapse disorder and the demise of many European honeybees (non-native imports), scientists are taking a hard look at these important native insects. Without pollinators, mankind would be seriously challenged to find food sources.
With a great interest in these little work-horses of the insect world, I am really looking forward to Judy Semroc's pollinator program at the ...
Be sure to check out the schedule on line and join us on August 6-8th for some amazing speakers and a whole lot of fun. I'll be covering the butterfly plants, and get to lead a trip with Jim Davidson, one of Ohio's finest lepidopterist. Sure hope to see you there!