Hairy Colletid Bee

This morning I woke shivering with the cold. And no wonder. The temperature outside my open bedroom window was 2.8ºC! But it was a brilliant morning, with fresh snow on the mountains. When I learned that the Great Alpine Highway was closed due to a slip near Arthurs Pass I decided to go up to Porters Pass and Lake Lyndon. I would go up there more often, but I’m put off by the heavy traffic. Today the traffic was light.

I spent a couple of hours at the Pass, looking at plants and creatures that I found interesting. Then I went to Lake Lyndon for lunch. There were only two cars while I was there, and not much more on the road. The lake is the lowest I have seen it. Obviously it has missed the heavy rain that has flooded the rivers like the Waimakariri that flow down from the Alps.

There I saw dotterels and a pied stilt and this hairy bee. The bee is about 10mm long. Its name is Leioproctus fulvescens, and is a native of New Zealand, found only in the South Island.

See extras for another shot of the bee, the stilt and the dotterel plus a shot of the deer chewed native dwarf broom, Carmichaelia monroi, with a purple flower.

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