…also early flower? Everything is out so early this year! I feel a little concerned, and more frantic than usual, since I can’t be out scouring the woods for spring ephemerals as I normally would be.
Well, impatient of the healing process I dragged my gimpy leg out to the nearest ‘natural area’ yesterday, which turned out to be a very small patch of trees on campus. They are mostly early successional, or pioneer, species that do well in disturbed and marginal habitats: largely black cherry, hackberry, and introduced species, with a smattering of burr oaks.
I didn’t expect to find any of my beloved native spring ephemerals, so imagine my surprise to find some native bees out and about. I could practically imagine them yawning to be up so early in the year. I’m not sure what resources they’re capitalising on right now…usually Salix spp. (willows) are the first to flower, but many of the maples are flowering now too.
Nonetheless, it is heartening to think that you can find such lovely bees even in such marginal habitat.
Times like these make me wish I had a macro lens and a ring flash. One day!
Hey, if you’d like to find these guys yourself, look for open patches of bare ground (where many solitary bees nest), and exposed, sunny patches of bark (where other solitary bees nest). For the cuckoo bees, watch the forest floor. They tend to dart about in a search pattern parallel to the ground…they are searching for bee nests to kleptoparasitize.