Over the summer we were visited by a number of carpenter bees. Most people think they're just pests that bore holes in your house. While it's true they've punched a few holes in my exterior trim, they also devoted their entire summer to pollinating my eggplants so I can't be too sour about them.
I don't actually mind them - they made a few holes, but then they reused those holes all summer. I think in the spring I'm going to put a couple of posts with pre-drilled holes in my garden and see if they take those over instead of eating the fascia on my porch. My patience and tolerance with them has paid off a few times. More than once they chased wasps away from where I was sitting on my porch, and the other day one kindly modeled for me.
Okay - so he was caught off-guard by a cold snap and I discovered him half-dormant in the basil I was trying to harvest before the first killing frost. I moved him to a branch on my Chinese maple and then ran inside for my camera and snapped a few dozen pictures of him.
These pictures aren't perfectly in-focus. He was a big bee, but even a big bee is a small thing to photograph in a tangle of fringy maple leaves. Thankfully my new contacts have enabled me to seriously pursue photography again and I was able to manually adjust my camera, although I am a bit rusty from years of relying on auto-focus and being blind as a bat.
The photograph above was heavily processed to expose the glittering pollen clinging to his furry little legs. The photographs in this package are "raw" and the colors, exposure, and contrast have not been corrected. These photographs are for drawing or painting reference and are free for other artists to use.
I set the lens at different focal lengths so you can see the veins on his wings in one shot, the hair on his legs in another, pollen on his butt in another, etc.