Although we’ve experienced several frosts and freezes here in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio, a number of plants and insects are still alive and kicking. The other day I found a dutiful sweat bee (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) collecting the late-season nectar and pollen of a New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, Asteraceae).
Most sweat bee species feed on a wide variety of plants, and this seems like a great strategy for the bees. With few species of plants still flowering this late in the year, the bees can extend their season by not being particular about their food.
Although the autumn leaves are past peak and nature is returning to its winter dreariness, these two organisms provided a welcome splash of color.