Black-chinned Hummingbird on Antelope Island – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or set up
Rocky Mountain Bee Plants are blooming all over the Salt Lake Valley right now and those beautiful, spider-like flowers are attracting hummingbirds, moths, butterflies, bees and a host of insects. When I had a garden I used to grow cleomes because they attracted so many different birds and insects but now I enjoy the wild cleomes like Rocky Mountain Bee Plants (Cleome serrulata) instead. They don’t bloom for very long but they are glorious when they are in full bloom.
The blooms attract Black-chinned Hummingbirds who hover over the flowers, sip their nectar and chase off the other hummingbirds that fly in.
Young Rufous Hummingbird on Antelope Island – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or set up
The also attract the Rufous Hummingbirds who have already begun to migrate. They are colorful, flashy and amusing little hummingbirds because they can be so aggressive. I hope to one day photograph an adult male at Rocky Mountain Bee Plants in all his glory.
White-lined Sphinx Moth hovering over flowers – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
The moths I see the most at Rocky Mountain Bee Plants are White-lined Sphinx Moths who move quickly just like the hummingbirds do, in fact some people call them Hummingbird Moths. This photo doesn’t show the lovely pink colors these moths have but I wanted to share it because the tongue, or the proboscis is clearly visible in this photo. When they aren’t using it to sip nectar it is curled up like a party noisemaker and as much as I dislike the noise those things made I do love how they curled up.
Monarch Butterfly nectaring on Rocky Mountain Bee Plant – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Monarch Butterflies are also on the move and they stop at the Rocky Mountain Bee Plants to fuel up on the nectar too. Monarch Butterflies are in trouble so I celebrate any plant or flower that helps them along.
I hope to find more Rocky Mountain Bee Plants that are accessible with hummingbirds, moths, bees and butterflies nectaring on them over the nest few weeks. They all delight me.
Life is good.