Sunday, June 20, 2010

on milkweed, left and right

There was a plant on the left side of the yard that had drawn flies and a honey bee. When I looked I saw that the flies were dead, dangling in the wind like odd trophies, suspended by legs which they had been unable to extract from the flowers. What strong mechanism must allow the milkweed to trap such fine thread-like limbs. I prodded the honey bee, she didn't go anywhere, so I figured she was also a prisoner. Perhaps milkweed's embraces would kill this one too. I have only seen 4 honey bees so far this year and I snapped, got a seam ripper and a nail file and crushed the flowers until this one was free. Her feet were damaged and still bearing bits of the flowers which she tried to chew off. They didn't keep her from taking flight though, and soon she bumbled high over my head.

On the right side of the yard I've found no corpses dangling from the milkweed flowers. Perhaps they are slightly more generous or perhaps birds have already come along and pecked off the evidence. Over there I've frequently seen large bumble bees, smaller bees, syrphid flies and the attractive insect in coattails with attractive banded undergarments.

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