About a week ago I blogged about swimming in the lake, and I made an offhand remark about the amazing flower diversity here. Well, its been a week and the flowers are still impressing. And given that Steph’s and my time here is getting short, I wanted to make sure we had a chance to get off another blog entry before we left.
The biological station here was an interesting experiment this summer – on the grounds they by and large discouraged the local cattle from grazing, but in the village the cows and horses go where they will. As a result, the green spaces in the village look like manicured lawns, but for our first two weeks here the biological station grounds were covered in a lush lawn of wildflowers. Recently, the biological station grounds were mowed and the cows have now been let in to consume the cut grass.
When the flowers were here however, they demonstrated an amazing diversity of form. I took a number of photographs, only a small selection of which I have room to post here. I will rely on the adage that each is worth many words and keep my text pretty brief. Indeed, with the cell phone modems we are using, I need to keep everything pretty brief. So I will wait to post larger, higher resolution versions of these images until we get back to a faster internet connection.
Many of these buds are so small that much of the interesting anatomical details only became apparent after viewing the photographs.
That said, spending time observing these wildflowers motivates a couple of impressions. First, just as in the old idiom, bees really are quite busy. The bees here seem so much more engrossed in their work and so much more indifferent to my observations than the bees at home.
More seriously, along with the flowers the insects are also amazingly diverse. There appear to be dozens of different bees, flies, wasps and beetles – all visiting flowers as if the flowers themselves are ringing dinner bells. It really provides a powerful impression to support the more rigorous notion that diversity is reflected across communities –i.e. high pollinator diversity begets high pollinatee diversity.