photos from the week of August 20, 2013

Just some photos of our pomegranate tree- it’s growing right next to our carport, so every time I use the car, I look at the leaves. Lately, the leaves have been looking more “holey” – as though someone used a big hole (dime sized) punch on the leaves- so I did a little research to see who or what was doing this. Apparently we have Leafcutter bees- here’s a description from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology about the bees:

Leafcutter bees, of the genus Megachilidae, are non-aggressive native bees important as pollinators. They nest in large pithy plants such as roses, in soft rotted wood, and in small crevices and cracks within wood. Leafcutter bees are about the size of a honeybee, but darker with light bands on their abdomens. Solitary bees, individual females dig out nesting areas, create nest cells, and provide young with food. After the nest is made, the females collect fragments of leaves which they cut in a smooth semi-circle about 3⁄4 inch in diameter from the edge of leaves. These pieces are carried back to the nest and used to line the cells. The cell is provisioned with a mixture of nectar and pollen. The egg is laid, and the cell is sealed. The finished nest cell somewhat resembles a cigar butt.

I just thought it was an amazing natural pattern- you don’t expect to see polka-dotted leaves- now I’m just trying to figure out a way to incorporate that sort of graphic into my cards or ceramics…