Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Texas yellowjacket

with 23 comments

Yellowjacket on Poverty Weed Branch 2876

Click for better clarity, even if smaller size.

Although I didn’t disturb the red admiral that you saw yesterday, even when the front of my camera lens got close to it, eventually a yellowjacket flew in and chased the butterfly away. (I just noticed that yellow trumped red in this instance.) The yellowjacket landed on the poverty weed branch, and I thought it might also want the liquid in the small opening that had attracted the butterfly; but no, the yellowjacket soon flew away and didn’t come back, at least not while I was there.

The curving little twig at the top right of this photograph is the same one that appeared close to the butterfly’s eye in the previous picture.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 21, 2012 at 6:18 AM

23 Responses

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  1. What a great pic! It made me think of those new Pittsburgh Steelers uniforms from a game I saw a few weeks ago. I thought the uniforms looked at least, um, comical–on humans anyway. Read the article at http://outsports.com/jocktalkblog/2012/10/28/pittsburgh-steelers-win-despite-wearing-ugliest-uniforms-in-the-history-of-mankind/ and view the series of pix that accompany the story. Make sure to scroll downwards to see some action pix!


    December 21, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    • Ah, the same two colors: the Pittsburgh Steelers in their yellowjacket uniforms (perhaps intended to suggest that the team members would sting their opponents) played against the Redskins. I think yours is the first comment ever to link my nature-y subjects to football. Now if you could just send some of that football-generated money my way….

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 21, 2012 at 7:45 AM

  2. Nice shot!


    December 21, 2012 at 8:26 AM

  3. Nice macro of this vey painful insect.


    December 21, 2012 at 8:36 AM

  4. Steve, she’s a beaut, but she gives me the heebie-jeebies! Unlike a bee, she can sting over and over again as I have found out on more than one occasion!


    December 21, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    • And you’re speaking from multiple experiences, alas. I was so busy taking my pictures that I never even thought about getting stung. That’s a good example of “ignorance is bliss.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 21, 2012 at 11:34 AM

  5. Beautiful macro Steve.. I had a capture of this one a few days ago but not as beautiful as yours


    December 21, 2012 at 8:49 AM

  6. As I mentioned on the post about the Red Admiral, I love the details your photos provide. I’ve never noticed the hairs on wasps (of course – who wants to get that close?) but was curious about their function. One difference between bees and wasps I found listed is that bees tend to be hairy, wasps smooth. I knew that, but look at all those little hairs! Maybe a vestige of differentiation in the evolutionary process? I’ve no idea, but it’s surely interesting.

    And what a great closeup of a fellow I’d prefer to stay away from!


    December 21, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    • I don’t know where this yellowjacket stands in the evolutionary path that includes bees and wasps, but I’ve often wondered about the function of delicate hairs in many plants and animals. My (lazy) guess is that biologists have figured out a lot on that score, but even then I expect there are still many things waiting for explanations. In the meantime, little hairs have added interest to many of my photographs, and for that I’m thankful.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 21, 2012 at 11:51 AM

  7. So, this guy just flew in right in front of your camera? Maybe it just wanted the spotlight for a while, Steve 🙂 Great shot!


    December 21, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    • If it wanted the spotlight, it got it. I think I’d pulled back a bit at the time to recompose, because I seem to remember seeing a broader view of the yellowjacket flying in and the red admiral flying away, after which I closed back in on my new subject. On a few other occasions over the years I’ve been looking through the viewfinder at something close when all of a sudden an insect flies into the picture. It can be startling.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM

  8. […] the base of the poverty weed from which a yellowjacket chased away a red admiral on December 13th, there was a drying colony of doveweed, Croton […]

  9. Wonderful capture, Steven.


    December 22, 2012 at 7:10 AM

  10. What a pretty creature! A winter flower!


    December 22, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    • That’s a novel conception: a yellowjacket as a winter flower. I’m glad you can see this insect positively, and not as a sting victim.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 22, 2012 at 10:32 PM

      • For some reason I get along very well with bees, hornets, wasps, etc. I can handle them (carefully) and am seldom stung. Perhaps they have an instinct of which we are unaware.


        December 22, 2012 at 10:47 PM

        • I’ve wondered about instinct, too. I act as if these insects know I’m not out to harm them and therefore won’t do anything to me. In taking my pictures, I sometimes get in close to plants that have bees and other insects om them, and so far nothing has ever happened to me when I do so.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 23, 2012 at 5:52 AM

  11. This bee is really clean !

    sorry for the spelling mistakes but I’m french and I’m only 15 years old so I do my best! 🙂


    January 10, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    • Ne t’en fais pas. You’re doing very well in English. Not many Americans could do as well in a foreign language.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 10, 2013 at 2:03 PM

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