Incredible though it may seem — given the level of vermin consumption of my flowers this spring — I’ve got quite a few sunflowers blooming right outside my kitchen window today.
I stepped outside yesterday afternoon to take a photo of this beauty.
I was thrilled to discover a bee who’d been busy as a … well, you know. See him there toward the bottom?
What was even more exciting — if you count tiny insect sightings as among the exciting events of your life (and I do) — is that his knees are just covered in pollen.
It’s the bee’s KNEES fer chrissakes!
Bees are something I know a little about. The emphasis here is on a little. And the reason I’ve gotten so smart lately is because Trassie is pretty interested in natural science and I just picked up a National Geographic book, shockingly titled Insects.
Insects, as I’m sure you know, are the only animals in the world with six legs. Beside birds and bats, they’re the only thangs that can fly. And those legs? They’re really weird, man.
On page 4 we learn that a fly tastes things with its feet. A katydid HEARS through tiny holes near its knees. And honeybees, as you can see above, carry pollen in baskets on their legs.
Insect mouths are fairly interesting, and gross too. Flies again. “A fly soaks up yucky garbage. Its mouth is like a sponge,” I intone nightly. “A mosquito sucks blood. Its mouth is like a needle.”
These factoids often are perfect set-ups for 5-year-old based humor. Pretend you’re a katydid and yell into each others’ knees. Put a sponge in your mouth and head for the kitchen trash.
There’s no reason to be bored when you’ve got preschoolers and bugs around!