As the late summer flowers come to a close, the first signs of fall (from my flower photography perspective) is when the Chamisa or Rabbitbrush begin to bloom. With their big bushy-like appearance and golden, yellow flower clusters exploding, they are hard to miss. Around here as in New Mexico, you find them blooming along hiking trails, in xeriscape gardens, and along roadsides too.
The shrubby looking bushes can get quite large and expansive given the space. They brighten up open fields with their vivd yellow color and welcome resident pollinators to the late season flower party.
Truth be told this time of year, you don’t have to travel far to encounter these fall flowering bushes. And thankfully, given my location, I found enormous patches of them growing within walking distance. And as I have mentioned numerous times, nothing makes me happier than being able to walk out the door – with camera in tow – to a flower photography destination. It’s like a two-for. Fitness and photos in one!
From honey bees, orange belted bumble bees and even bee-flies, they belly up to the bar for a pollinating feast. A butterfly or two can show up too. The Aspens are still in the process of turning their gorgeous hues of yellow and orange. And the Cottonwoods along the greenbelt have yet to turn. So it’s off to capture photos of the bees buzzing about of the Rabbitbrush.
Bees Gathering Pollen on the Rabbitbrush
With cooler mornings it helps to get there to take photos just as things are warming up. The bees are moving a bit slower at this time so it makes it easier to capture some decent shots. It definitely takes patience. It’s great when you can find a bee that’s working at a slower pace. However, it does not take long before long it will become a frenzy!
In the photos above you can see the bees busy on their pollen gathering mission. I suspect these flowers are one of the last hurrahs for the season. The bee-fly is quite an interesting character. With its big fly-like eyes and wings it’s a fast little hybrid – IMHO.
Goldenrod, Bees and a Painted Lady Butterfly
While the bees on the Chamisa flowers generally steal the show, this season I noticed the Goldenrod flowers having their moment in the limelight. Driving by the Xeriscape gardens, I saw they were exploding with them. I had been hesitant to venture back over to the gardens after the barrel cactus carnage – but I took a deep breath and went for it…
I suppose my timing was just right on this particular morning. Not only were the bees having a pollen party, but I was able to capture a Painted Lady butterfly as it came in for a landing. This was a first!
Ultimately it landed and remained perched on the end of a Goldenrod stem cluster for a bit so I could capture some shots. Once I was able to see the photos on my computer, I realized I had caught a bit of a sequence. It made my morning! Yay for Nature 🙂