Bees and Hold Your Breath

Going out to explore nature leads to all kinds of new observations. And of course I learn new things about our fellow creatures!

A pond turtle in the road was a bit shy.
Out on the grasslands it doesn’t take long to see beautiful sights like this Tiger Swallowtail at a Texas Thistle (Cirsium texanum)! Thanks Suzanne for the correction on the butterfly. 🙂

However my plan for the day was to observe a colony of Chimney Bees (Emphorini) that I had located last year. I took my time getting close to the colony. I was by myself so I was cautious not to disturb or make them defensive. It was most interesting and I watched for forty-five minutes. Sometimes more that one would enter the same chimney. None seemed to be making a new chimney. I might have been too late in the spring observe that. A colony will use the same location for multiple years I read.

Further down in the creek bed I found a nest of Southern Yellowjacket (Vespula squamosa). I was even more cautious with them and stayed ten feet away. 🙂

The creek bed was dry except for one puddle that measured about six feet in length.
Someone was sticking its head up. It was a small Yellow-bellied Water Snake (Nerodia erythrogaster)! I sat still on the bank. To my surprise a second one popped up its head! Then they ducked back under the water. Then I started to time how long they were staying under before surfacing again. It was four plus minutes. Who knew that they could hold their breath so long. Not me. LOL Well, I decided it was time to move on. And I needed to find an easy way up out the creek. No luck, so I had to backtrack passing by the puddle again.
Indeed, I was totally surprised that actually there had been three young snakes in the puddle!

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


  1. The chimney bees seem not to be able to find their way back home again – like they cannot figure out which is their front door. So busy never stop moving. Fun to watch!

    1. It was really enjoyable. I wondered why they seemed to visit so many different holes. Perhaps visiting and admiring neighbors’ babies. 😉

  2. I never heard of chimney bees – so interesting! Nice to see the water snake siblings.

    P.S. – I believe the butterfly is a tiger swallowtail, not a giant.

    1. You are right of course, what was I thinking or as the case maybe – not thinking …Ha Ha! I will fix that right now. Thanks! 🙂

  3. Chimney bees are very interesting.
    Thanks Suzanne. That was what i thought but hadn’t said anything.
    The snakes were quite interesting.

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