Photo: Bee and wildflower, a love story

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Our photo of the day stars a beautiful bee clinging to the columbine.

The columbine plant, genus Aquilegia, arrived to North America some 10,000 to 40,000 years ago during the Pleistocene. Crossing into the continent from Asia over the Bering land bridge, the pretty vine and flower began to spread out of Alaska and crawl into the rest of North America, where new species developed. The new directions that each species evolved into were in response to the relationship between flower and pollinator. The U.S. Forest Service notes:

As with Darwin’s finches, columbines developed similar but differently shaped and colored flowers in response to newly encountered habitats and pollinators. They developed different positions for presenting their flowers, sepals, and spurs, and different spur shapes in response to their primary pollinator.

A lovely little love story, written by Mother Nature; photo by richardliebert.

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