Bee and We

What does the bee see
In this lovely flower?
Does it see what we see,
Or feel as we feel? A
Beauty transcendent,
Instilling reverence?
If not, whence beauty?
What role does it play
In the grand scheme?
Did it evolve for the bee
With its tiny brain, or
For us with intellect?
What did Darwin say?

Ron Cohen © 2013

Shaded from the worst of July’s wilting heat by an over-arching leafy canopy, the little, dwarf checkerbloom (or dwarf checkermallow) that I featured in a recent post, continued to bloom. This photo was taken on July 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm, shortly after a brief rain. The sky was a bright overcast. It was the first rain after several sweltering weeks, all too short, a mere foretaste.

Once again, the actual blossoms were much smaller than the photo suggests: less than 1-1/2 inches in diameter. There were still more buds on the single, three-foot stalk. Hopefully, they will all bloom, allowing the plant to spread its seeds, and expand its presence in our garden next summer.

In reading about the checkerbloom, I wondered how it could reseed itself when there are no other plants of its kind in the garden to supply pollen. Digging deeper, I learned that many flowering plants are self-fertile, and can pollenize themselves — with the aid of a bee or other pollinator, or the wind — when pollen from other plants is not available. The checkerbloom employs this survival tactic.

Click the image to see it in exquisite detail, and click the back arrow to return. Notice that the partly hidden blossom in the back has released all of its pollen, while the front one still retains its original pollen cluster.
Related: Small Wildflower*


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