22 January 2008

Wildflowers and Pollinators.

Elizabeth Joy over at Wildflower Morning is hosting a new photo-posting activity for the weeks leading up to spring. The object is to post a photo of a wildflower, with a different theme for each week. I'm just under the wire with this week's favourite wildflower, which is a photo of Campanula rotundifolia, or Scotch harebell. It's not the best photo I've ever taken, but it's special to me because this little plant was growing on the vast rocky expanses of the Tablelands in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland; some of the most uninviting terrain for plants to be found, because of the toxic heavy metals in so many of the rocks that litter the mars-like landscape; rocks that were heaved up out of the earth's heart nearly a billion years ago. So I think this is a pretty special little plant.

It's no secret that I'm fond of wild flowers and other native plants, both in their natural habitats and in garden settings. I've got natives on my mind a lot lately, in part because I'm concerned about other natives; pollinating insects, some of which are dying off. We all heard the big honeybee scare last year, Colony Collapse Disorder, but the wild, native pollinators are as important to our environments.

I'll be writing more posts about pollinators later, but just wanted to share a happy bit of news for native bumblebees in our area. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation has posted articles on its website about native bumblebees in decline, including one that is native to my area, Bombus terricola, the Yellow-banded bumblebee. I went through my photos of bees, because while I couldn't tell one species from another when I was photographing them--I just like bees--I thought the pattern looked familiar.

I sent this photo in to the society, who had their resident entomologist study the image and tell me, yes, this is a yellow-banded bee. You can be sure I'll be watching out for them more this coming gardening season; and if planting more natives (and more Eryngium, which bees adore in our yard) helps, then there will be many more natives going into our garden this year.

And lots of opportunities for wildflower photography. Pop on over to Wildflower Morning and join in the fun. Thanks to Nancy at Soliloquy for letting me know about this great bit of photoblogging, winter-unclogging relief.


  1. Oh, Jodi, you changed it so quickly - little things like this can be important to those of us who like documentation!

    I love the harebell photo - they grew in my IL gardens, and I was surprised and delighted to find them atop a ridge at Yellowstone National Park.

    I hope you see more Yellow-banded Bumblebees when the weather warms up.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  2. Oh, I'm glad you found us. I love the tenacity of the Scotch harebell you photographed! I had a variety of harebell that grew under a walnut tree, where nothing else would, and I loved it! I like your idea of including polinators with your wildflowers. They are a perfect match! Your bumblebee is beautiful! I am so glad you joined Wildflowers in Winter.

  3. Wildflowers and pollinators, both subjects dear to my heart. I will be watching for more of your lovely and informative posts.

    Frances at Faire Garden

  4. A small flower or hope in a hostile environment. Lovely. I love wildflowers. Interesting bee info.

  5. Your photo of the harebell is lovely, jodi, made all the more special because of it's rocky heritage. The bee photo is wonderful, too, though I'm not as fond of them as I might be -- my older daughter is (deathly) allergic to bee stings. He's a cute, fat thing, though. :-)

  6. Jodi
    I have this amazing little flower as well ! A friend of mine called them Fairy Bells or Fairy Thimbles.
    I am sticking more and more to native plants, from flowers to grasses .. I have a shot of a bumble bee on my Joe Pye plant that displays with other garden pictures on one of the digital photo frames my son gave me for Christmas.
    This year more "lawn" is coming out in favor ofdrought tolerant natives.
    Great post ! Thank you !

  7. Fun post, Jodi ... Wildflowers and bees are also 2 of my favorite subjects. I adore Queen Anne's Lace, Lady's Slipper, Trillium and the spectacular Cardinal Flower growing in patches along Michigan's streams and rivers.

  8. What sweet wild flowers those are. I'm always impressed that people actually know the names for all the plants out in the world!

  9. Wildflowers and pollinators two great subjects. I will look forward to all you post.

    I too take pictures of all the bees and bugs in our garden. I don't id most of them but I often try to.

  10. Thanks for letting us know about Wildflower Morning, Jodi. I'm off to see what I can find to post!

  11. Jodi, that is a great picture of the Yellow-Banded bumble bee.
    I saw a posting by Lisa at Greenbow about the wildflower pictures.A good idea to look into, I'll follow the links to see everyone pictures.A good way to spend some time in this so cold weather.
    Your posts are smoking girlfriend. I missed just a couple of days and you have been busy as a bumble bee yourself.


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