Perfect timing

I’m in the Ithaca area today, just on time for peak of trout lily flowering.  I spent a very happy afternoon at the Sapsucker Woods testing the effects of pollen colour on pollinator and pollen consumer behaviour. (Many thanks to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for permitting this work!).

It seems I’m not the only one who’s been waiting for Erythronium americanum to bloom. Trout lilies were the coolest joint in town today! Nearly every flower I saw had some visitor or another.  Check it out:

TroutLily_hangout

Andrena female (a solitary, ground nesting bee) foraging on flower at left, and two mating pairs of Asclera rufficolis (false blister beetles, pollen consumers) on flower at right.  Wish I had nudged that leaf out of the way for a better shot.

Like the flowers pictured here, most of the flowers I saw today had their anthers picked clean of pollen.

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These anthers are looking a little worse for wear.

Several unopened buds remain at this site, so I am feeling optimistic about data collection tomorrow, too.

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