POLLEN DRAPE

A Bumblebee in the full bloom head of a Common Dandelion
A Bumblebee covered in pollen in the full bloom head of the Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelions flower at a time of the year when few other sources of nectar and pollen are available in many gardens, providing native pollinators with a ready source of early pollen for colony-building. With full-bloomed flower heads already in early spring, they are available to pollinators including the bumblebee just as they emerge from their winter nests… And these pollinators, well they don’t take the provision for granted :-)

MACRO: Beauty and ‘Brains’

Macro of the Purple Coneflower
The Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Belonging to a group of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family, the Purple Coneflower is known for, among other things, it’s beauty (grown as ornamental plants in gardens) and medicinal properties (including the approved use of expressed juice and dried expressed juice from fresh flowering aerial parts of Echinacea purpurea for the short-term prevention and treatment of the common cold).

Blooming is usually from Spring through Late Summer and florets within the flower head are hermaphroditic, having both male and female organs on each flower

Corps de Feu

The large red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), known in French as Petite nymphe au corps de feu ( fiery bodied Damselfly), is one of the first European damselflies on the fly in spring.

A Large Red Damselfly on a plant leaf
The large red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

General Description
The Large Red Damselfly has a dark red body (Corps de feu) thinly circled with black color. There are larger black marks on the upper surface of the last segments of the abdomen.
The eyes are reddish. The thorax bears a black horizontal stripe. The legs are black. Females occur in many colour forms, but all have yellow bands around the abdominal segments.

A male large red damselfly
A male species fitting above description

Photographed Species: Male, Remshalden, Germany

Asian Willow

Pink and white leaves typical of the Salix integra
Pink and white leaves typical of the Salix integra

“Hakuro Nishiki”. Sounds like a character from a Manga (Japanese comic) :-)

An ornamental plant, the dappled willow (“Hakuro Nishiki” in Japanese)is a species of willow native to northeastern China, Japan, Korea and Primorsky Krai in the far southeast of Russia. It is widely grown for its variegated foliage, with the leaves strongly mottled with patches and blotches of white and pale pink, as seen in the photo.

Armor of Gold

An adult male Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)
An adult male Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)

Nostalgic of my entomology roots, I researched some interesting facts about the species.

Identification:
39-48mm in length, the brown colour and the four spots at the nodus of the wings make them unmistakable.

Sexes can be differentiated by closely observing the structure of the appendages at the end of the abdomen. The upper appendages are more ‘separated’ in the females than in the males.

Habitat & Behavior:
Found mainly by ponds, vernal pools, and slow flowing rivers between the months of May and September, the male is considered to be highly aggressive and will defend a given territory from incursions from other males of the species. The male is known to form preferences for prominent perches and will often return to the same perches around the margins of pools and ponds whilst it patrols for intruders.

Photo taken in early May 2014, Remshalden, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Resource:
1,http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/wildlife/f/902/t/106254.aspx
2, http://www.british-dragonflies.org.uk/species/four-spotted-chaser
3, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-spotted_Chaser

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