Photos: Pollination in the Tusas Mountains

Pollination is vital.

That fact is that nearly 90% of all plant species need the help of animals to act as pollinators.  About 75% of the crops grown world-wide for human consumption likewise depend on plant pollinators to propagate.

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Nature didn’t let us down. There are something like 200,000 different species of animals around the world that act as pollinators. The majority of these are invertebrates, such as flies, beetles, butterflies, moths, and bees.  About 1,000 – and among the most important – are vertebrates, such as birds, bats, and small mammals.

 

It has been calculated that one out of every three to four mouthfuls of food we eat and beverages we drink is delivered to us by pollinators. As such, agricultural products that are produced with the help of pollinators make a significant contribution to the economy. For example, it has been estimated that insect-pollinated crops directly contributed $20 billion to the United States economy in the year 2000. If this calculation were to include indirect products, such as milk and beef from cattle fed on alfalfa, the value of pollinators to agricultural production would be raised to $40 billion in the  United States alone. Table 1 shows some of the common agricultural crops that are dependent upon or benefitted by insect pollination.”

 

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Anicia checkerspot, Euphydryas anicia

It is said that in the Sichuan Province of China, one of the world’s most incredible apple producing areas, they pollinate every flower by human hand. The heavy use of pesticides and herbicides has eliminated native pollinators from the area. Regional beekeepers refuse to bring their hives into the toxic environment. Many areas of North America are not far behind.  Plant pollinators are under attack and, if eliminated, the world food supply could collapse.

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The kids and I spent a few days out in the higher and cooler Tusas Mountains west of Taos, New Mexico last week.  There was a fierce lightening storm and it rained.  Then the clouds cleared.  The fields beyond the Ponderosa Pines were covered from one end to the other in flowers.

Pollinators everywhere!

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Anicia checkerspot, Euphydryas anicia

 

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12 Responses to Photos: Pollination in the Tusas Mountains

  1. Jess Van Wickel July 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    NIce blog!

  2. Mary Jo Norris July 25, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    Beautiful, Jim. Important info to share.

  3. Frank Zinno July 27, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    Hi Jim…Just saw your blog spot….very nice! I will revisit and give it more time. See you at Market on Saturday? It was nice to see you and the kids. They are Beautiful! I would like to sit and have more of a conversation. Maybe we can arrange that and have lunch? we'll talk soon.

    • Jim O'Donnell July 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

      Frank I was up in the balloons this morning but I'm sure the kids were there with their mother. I'd like to sit and catch up too!

  4. Steve Collins November 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Great detail! I love these photos.

  5. Steve Collins November 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Great detail! I love these photos.

    • Jim O'Donnell November 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      Thank you Steve. I'm ready for summer again already. I hope you guys are having fun eating your way through Denver!

  6. Michael Jon Falk November 24, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Great Photos Jim! What lens were you using for these? Have you tried extension tubes yet?

    • Jim O'Donnell November 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

      You know what Michael, I have not tried them. What are the benefits in your opinion?

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