Green and Gold …



Golden Alexander with Green Sweat Bee copyright 2012 Pamela Breitberg

No, I’m not a Packer’s fan nor am I an Aussie. Green and gold are frequent partners in nature. Months before the numerous sunflower varieties mimic the sun on the prairie this prairie native reaches its prime. Taking benefit of an open spot in the forest canopy as sunlight finds a patch of soil the Golden Alexander blooms. Prairie land and woodland often trade places over time. Trees reach maturity shading prairie species, followed by forest fires leaving open fields of hardy prairie species, some of which are able to lay dormant for dozens of years, followed by tree seedlings maturing to replace horizontal views with vertical heights. I find myself wondering how many prairie seeds are here in this forest floor waiting larger patches of sun to awaken them.

The Green Sweat Bee (Agapostemon texanus) on Golden Alexander (zizia aurea) bloom was an appropriate metaphor for the hot humid air of this May morning. The shaded path was insufficient relief for our walk so we retreated earlier than we might have back to the wonders of air conditioning. Named after Alexander the Great, this member of the carrot family resembles the white summer blooming non-native Queen Anne’s Lace. Both have the crown shaped floral arrangement befitting royalty. Sweat bees are valued pollinators in spite of their reputation for attraction to human sweat. Perhaps if the Packers ever leave Green Bay Wisconsin they can take up the name Green Sweat Bees, NO offense intended.

Green Sweat Bee on Golden Alexander copyright 2012 Pamela Breitberg

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