Monday, June 10, 2013

A Hummer and a Bee in a Chaste Tree

Our Chaste Tree is in full bloom now, and has never been prettier!


One of my favorite landscaping trees, the Chaste Tree, has gorgeous blue spiky blooms during late spring and summer.  The flowers grow in 6"-12" spikes, and our tree blooms two or three times during the summer months.

Some of you may know the Chaste Tree as Texas Lilac, or Lilac Chaste Tree, because its blossoms are reminiscent of the common lilac.

It's a sprawling plant that can grow to be 10-20 feet tall and about as wide.

Butterflies, hummingbirds, and bumblebees love the bright blue blossoms ... and I was delighted to see this little guy happily flitting from blossom to blossom, practically ignoring me and my camera.

Although he was keeping an eye on me, he didn't seem to mind having his picture taken.

He couldn't get enough of the nectar ... and I was delighted to have the opportunity to capture him as he darted from blossom to blossom.

He was a happy, happy, happy little hummer!

The next picture is my favorite. His delicate, gossamer wings are truly awe-inspiring.

I like this picture, too ... I don't see hummers with their beaks open very often.

Bumblebees love Chaste trees, too ... and will even spend the night on the flowers. However, when I took these pictures, they were too busy gathering pollen to bother me.

As I snapped pictures of the bees, I noticed that this little fellow had "globs" (for lack of a better word) of what appeared to be pollen attached to his back legs.

I was curious about how a little bumblebee could carry that much pollen around on his legs and still be able to fly, so I turned to a blogger's best friend, Google, and discovered an amazing thing:

bumblebee's legs are covered with sticky hairs that help it collect pollen.  Hollow holders on the outside of each back leg, called pollen baskets, are yellow to red when full of pollen, as shown by this sketch by Sheri Amsel ( Bumblebee: Exploring Nature ).

I think this little guy's pollen baskets were about to "runneth over!"

As I captured these pictures ... of the chaste tree, and the hummingbird, and the bumblebee ... I couldn't help but experience several "How Great Thou Art" moments.

Who ... but God ... could have created such an awesome tree -- its glory and beauty brightening the hot summer months, and its glorious blossoms a nourishing source of nectar and pollen for the smallest of His creatures.

O, Lord, my God,
When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all Thy hands have made ...  

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art!

I wish you a week filled with God's Grace and countless "How Great Thou Art" moments.  They are everywhere, if we just take the time to "see" and appreciate them.


Dorothy said...

What a glorious post! You did a wonderful job capturing some of the beauty of God's Creation! I love those "How Great Thou Art" moments! They really are everywhere, if we only look. Thanks for sharing these outstanding pictures with us! ♥

Marlene said...

Just planted my first Chaste tree and am looking forward to many beautiful blooms. Your photos of the bee and particularly the hummer are just always. Thank you again for the "How Great Thou Art" inspirations. You always make me smile!

Sue said...

What can I say, Janie, these photos are absolutely stunning, I love to photograph bees and butterflies, but have not had to much luck with humming birds, after seeing these I will not give up. ~smile~
I will be looking for a published photography book by you someday!
Indeed I do look for those "How Great Thou Art Moments", and cherish each one.

Pat said...

Hello Janie,

You always take beautiful pictures, but I think you have out done yourself with these amazing photos. They are all amazing. What an inspiration!

Happy days to you,
Pat in Tallahassee

Doodles said...

Hi Janie,

I live in Boise Idaho and found your beautiful Chaste tree pictures. I have a very small plant right now and wanted to know what it will look like when grown up. Beautiful. I also love your photography. What camera do you have and what lens do you shoot? Thank you.