Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pollination nation

One of the reasons I got this camera was its macro feature. Close-ups. For instance, open up this image for the big picture and get a pretty good view of the pollen packs on this apis chica here: Also, note that you can make out the double wing set-up on each side of the thorax. The order Hymenoptera, which means membrane winged and encompasses the wasps, bees, and ants, have two wings per side that lock, via natural Velcro, into one unit when they fly.

Also, I wanted the macro so that I could shoot the sucker and then look it up afterwards. This is a red admiral, Vanessa atalanta, which was hanging out in the community garden today: A common species, says the Kaufman Field Guide, which pictures one on the cover.

By the way, I tried some purple-ripe serviceberries (aka shadbush, plus a handfull of other common names, Amelanchier to you Latinists) today on East 8th St., East Village. Very tasty. (Thanks to Y, who says he eats his way up the West Side Highway this time of year.) On the other hand, a block away on the same street, I saw so many, many mulberries tragically squashed on the sidewalk. The white mulberries on Verandah Place fell earlier this week, but they're not so palate-exciting, unless you're a pigeon.


knithound brooklyn said...

did you watch Nature on PBS last night? CCD discussed in detail. Very distressing.

Thew said...

Heard about it, but there's no telly here at the Bachelor Pad, so I missed it. There's a lot of material out there on the subject, though. It's grim, very canary in the coal mine, but should inspire us to have our own honeybee hives in the backyard, on the roof, whereever, to build up the numbers, increase the genetic diversity, etc.