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Observations on Thursday

This two-part entry includes one observation about pollination that struck me odd. I had a floral head (A) at Loeffler’s corner and as Agopostamas texanus approached – it stopped – flew backwards and away – and visited others nearby (all Echinacea). Did the presence of ants on the head – around the anthers have anything to do with the “I’ll just come back later” actions of the bee? Has anyone else observed a head NOT get visited even though it was ripe with pollen because of the presence of ants?
My second half is simply noting that a calico cat and two large kittens were at the end of the common garden yesterday as I left about 4PM. The mother slunk away and the gold/white kitten watched me while the other kitten mostly white/ some black was trying to consume a chipmunk! Are these cats known to inhabit the area?

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  • Greg, that’s an interesting observation about the ants. I have noticed “guarding” behavior by ants on Echinacea heads. I’d be curious if any other team members have observations.

    As for the cat, I think we should have Roxy investigate.

  • Amanda Gallinat

    Hey Greg,
    I’ve seen insects appear to shy away from plants with ants on the head, too! It seems like something worth investigating.
    Amanda

  • Mimi Jenkins

    1. Yes, I noticed the same thing happen on a focal plant at Aanenson’s and it’s the reason why I added the part to our protocol about noting the presence of ants.

    2. Can we keep these kittens at the Hjelm house for entertainment/cuteness and chipmunk-eating purposes?

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