I think the one I found was big enough to ID it as the "larger" species. Also, as I pay more attention to insects, I've found that German yellow jacket and Western honey bee are the likely species around Madison.
I can't help but notice all the colorful wings around me! I'm going to make a better effort to ID butterflies in the prairie. It looks like now is a good time to see gray hairstreaks, variegated fritillary, purplish fritillary, etc.
Back to my curmudgeonly attitude toward strictly ornamental gardens: I don't like them! There are so many native, beautiful plants to choose from; why choose those that have no other purpose than pretty flowers?
flower pot near my apartment
Sure, the petunias and garden lobelias are pretty, but I'd rather see something with wildlife value in green spaces.
I went for a walk yesterday through lakeshore, as usual. (I tried to write this post through the iPad app, which needs some updating! There are very limited tools and the pics upload to a huge size...)
Anyway, this is such a fantastic time of year because everything is yellow! From the forest understory to the prairie, sunflowers and their relatives are in full bloom.
There's a paler plant, though, that also won't go unnoticed. It forms the "over story" of the prairie this time of year, and grows to amazing heights.