Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) Drinking

honey bee drinking at birdbath

I have occasionally seen the odd honey bee drinking water from the edge of the pond, and occasionally from the edge of the birdbath – but never en masse like they have this year. I don’t know if it is the nature of the summer weather, or the fact the neighbours have a beehive – but they have been there every day in numbers for most of the last few months. I got the tripod and my macro lens in very close to them and aside from a few buzzing around my head they didn’t much care I was there. At least they sit still on the birdbath relative to on the flowers.

honey bee drinking at birdbath honey bees drinking at birdbath group

honey bee drinking at birdbath honey bee drinking at birdbath

Backyard Beetle Macro

A few more Beetle macro shots from July. Do not know the species of the first beetle which I also posted earlier. Probably part of the Genus Cantharis. The second appears to be some variety of Longhorned Beetle – probably Xestoleptura crassipes. Both are crawling on flowers from Astrantia major.

beetle on astrantia major beetle on astrantia major

longhorned beetle (xestoleptura sp. possibly) on astrantia major longhorned beetle (xestoleptura sp. possibly) on astrantia major

And the winner is…

I ultimately elected to go with the Canon EF 70-200 f/4 L IS. The Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS may be a slightly faster lens, but I can’t justify almost double the price (and weight!) for that 1 stop.

I tested this lens out today in the backyard, mostly hand held… and I was quite happy with its performance. I have other lenses that I consider to be good quality optically but this one was pretty fantastic (even if some of my shots weren’t 😉 ).

Black Capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus). Second picture is a 100% crop of the first. This was an experiment, I realize the larger version is a bad photo.

black-capped chickadee chickadee cropped

I’m impressed!

Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

More shots from the Mt. Baker Ski Area.

American Border Peak (2,794 feet (852 meters))

american border peak

Closeups of Mt. Shuksan and Shuksan Arm

mt shuksan mt shuksan shuksan arm

mt shuksan mt shukan

This little Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) at first made me think he was a rare opportunity but quickly proved to be rather tame – and not shy about begging for a handout.

gray jay perisoreus canadensis gray jay perisoreus canadensis

gray jay perisoreus canadensis white avalanche lily erythronium montanum