Observations on Thursday

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This two-part entry includes one observation about pollination that struck me odd. I had a floral head (A) at Loeffler's corner and as Agopostamas texanus approached - it stopped - flew backwards and away - and visited others nearby (all Echinacea). Did the presence of ants on the head - around the anthers have anything to do with the "I'll just come back later" actions of the bee? Has anyone else observed a head NOT get visited even though it was ripe with pollen because of the presence of ants?
My second half is simply noting that a calico cat and two large kittens were at the end of the common garden yesterday as I left about 4PM. The mother slunk away and the gold/white kitten watched me while the other kitten mostly white/ some black was trying to consume a chipmunk! Are these cats known to inhabit the area?

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Greg, that's an interesting observation about the ants. I have noticed "guarding" behavior by ants on Echinacea heads. I'd be curious if any other team members have observations.

As for the cat, I think we should have Roxy investigate.

Hey Greg,
I've seen insects appear to shy away from plants with ants on the head, too! It seems like something worth investigating.
Amanda

1. Yes, I noticed the same thing happen on a focal plant at Aanenson's and it's the reason why I added the part to our protocol about noting the presence of ants.

2. Can we keep these kittens at the Hjelm house for entertainment/cuteness and chipmunk-eating purposes?

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