June 20, 2016 | Efrain Leal, Visitor Services Representative

Appreciate the big clumsy bumblebees the size of your thumb and swallowtail butterflies gracefully flying through the trees. Oh! And don’t forget about the hummingbirds. They are pollinators too!

To celebrate our hardworking winged gardeners, today through Sunday, June 26, Denver Botanic Gardens has special activities, science talks and a lovely insect exhibit on display. This year I was invited by Rick Levy, curator of the Gardens arthropod collection, to collaborate with the insect exhibit. Along with insect specimens collected from the Gardens, some of my photographs featuring pollinators doing what they do best are on display in the Helen Fowler Library.

It is pollination headquarters out there and photography is a great way to get to know your smaller neighbors. What better time than Pollinator Week to go out and explore your backyard! You will be surprised to find more than just honeybees. In fact, you don't even need an expensive camera or lens. Most cell phones have excellent cameras.

However if you want to take it a step further, you can take the route I took and purchase a macro clip-on lens for your phone, a cheap alternative to a full-blown digital camera. You will soon find out that there is more to pollinators than meets the non-macro eye.

To really get a sense of your subject, get down to their eye level. You will see them with a whole different perspective. I have found that mornings and evenings are the best times to take pictures outside, not just of bugs, but of anything in general.

If you find yourself taking pictures with strong sun, use yourself as shade and turn your back to the sun. It makes the picture more about the subject and less distracting. With just a speck of patience, you, too, can capture incredible snapshots of not just pollinators, but also a wide array of various bugs.

Join the buzz and explore the Gardens. Pollinator magnets like foxtail lilies, sage, cacti, poppies and many more flowers are in full bloom. So get your gear out and start buzzing through the flowers. Please follow me on Instagram @macrolorado to see the latest photos I have taken at the Gardens.

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