A brief comparison

Just a couple of pics while it’s still slow.

I finished up sorting the other day (which is going through the folder of recent images, discarding those that fail to pass muster, and then moving the keepers into appropriate folders to locate them again easily,) and as usual, I pulled out a couple as curiosities, these being both the same subject. We’ll start with January’s.

Chinese grape holly Mahonia lomariifolia flower spray bursting out from snow cover
Coming back from a brief visit to the neighborhood pond following the one snowstorm we received (so far) this year, I stopped to do a few frames of the ornamental Chinese grape holly (Mahonia lomariifolia) that decorates the sign for our housing development on the corner. The flowers had started early and their spikes were protruding from the snow cover rather fetchingly, I thought. This was already posted back then, and I’d forgotten that, so I’m just reposting it here again and not the slightly different version prepared just for this post. As I said, this is a comparison, and it dates from January 22nd.

Because here’s the same plant on February 3rd:

European honeybee Apis mellifera visiting flower of Chinese grape holly Mahonia lomariifolia in early February
During one of those warm spells, I’d gone up close in passing and realized that the European honeybees (Apis mellifera) had wasted no time in getting out and finding some nectar – quite impressive, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen them out so early. We’ve had several frosts since then, so they presumably went back in grumbling, and who knows if the flowers they pollinated would be viable through that? But hey – February honeybees, can’t knock that.