Pollinators in Action: RGV Community Photographs started back in 2019 when IMAS received an exhibition proposal, Wild Bees, from prominent photographers Paula Sharp and Ross Eatman. Wild Bees documents the diversity of wild bees species found at the New York’s Rockefeller State Park Preserve and at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas.
After learning of their work, IMAS not only chose to host their exhibition — May 23 to October 18, 2020 — but also to encourage documenting the local biodiversity of the region through the Pollinators in Action project.
The project consisted of a call to the public to submit their photographs of bees and butterflies from the region; and to allow the community to vote on the top 20 images that IMAS printed and curated, highlighted below. These 20 images will be on exhibit on site at the IMAS from July 18 through September 27, 2020. Welcome to the online exhibition including all 45 entries. The International Museum of Art & Science is grateful for the tremendous response for this exhibition and commend all photographers for their time and talent, highlighting the beauty of our local pollinators.
Top 20 Winners
Virginia Mann. 10/15/2015. McAllen, TX. The Red Bordered Pixie is the city of McAllen's official butterfly and to see these elusive beauties in the wild feeding on native plants is a real treat! They are easily recognizable by their bright red spots bordering their wings. This photo was taken at Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center. A breath-taking find!
Ernesto Herrera. 12/6/2018. McAllen, TX. I had recently started looking at small insects and stumbled upon these two bees on a dry flower and it was like they were posing. They gave me time to really hone my skills in macro photography while they just looked at the camera. Definitely some of the best subjects I have ever shot.
Hal Wallace. 10/19/2019. Butterfly Center, Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, Edinburg TX. With camera in hand since childhood, I only became interested in photography as a creative expression after 55, and didn't exhibit until 65. I have always enjoyed the small things that folks normally pass by, and am pleased to submit this little creature on the occasion of my 80th birthday.
Jose Salazar. 7/26/2019. Edinburg, TX. Guava Skipper and bee. Photo taken in our backyard.
Oscar Cepeda. 3/22/2020. Pharr, TX. I was eating and watching outside when I saw the bees, I didn't think twice to get my camera. I love nature.
Christy Sanchez. 11/2/2019. Mission, TX. Taken at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, TX. Perfect timing to capture a landing.
Juan Manuel Flores Jr. 4/30/2018. National Butterfly Center Mission, TX. I am a U.S. Army Retiree and combat veteran, I enjoy photography as a hobby. The photo was taken on my first visit to the National Butterfly Center.
Rick Rodriguez. 6/18/2020. Edinburg, TX. White Peacock Butterfly enjoying some milkweed flowers early morning.
Marie Montalvo. 6/14/2020. Santa Clara Ranch Rio Grande City, TX. I teach Science and at age 65 I have no plans to retire. Teaching Science is the most important job I have ever had ( was a therapist 20 years before this). It is important in this age of Global Warming to teach children about conservation and protecting what we have. This picture of the bees with a Lark Sparrow sharing the watering hole tells a very important story. Bees need water as well. Doing something as simple as providing a shallow dish with marbles, and water will provide a safe way for bees to drink water. We all know that without pollinators we will not have food.
Marlowe Muñoz. 6/20/2020. Mission, TX. If you plant it they will come.
George Villarreal. 5/12/2019. Mcallen, TX. Got this shot while doing some backyard macro of some sunflowers growing on the side of the house, when this little guy came in for a photo op.
Trish Motheral. 3/24/2014. Mission, TX. I purchased a macro lens and decided to practice photographing the RGV flowers and enjoy the beautiful weather. It was a great day!
Reina Razo. 11/7/2019. Alamo, TX. I looked through the school window and saw many butterflies. I went outside to observe them for a few minutes and tried to capture their beauty.
Eryn Reddell Wingert. 6/19/2020. McAllen, TX. The fox tail palm in our backyard in McAllen periodically produces a bundle of blooms. I enjoy sitting on a little bench under this tree watching the bees at work.
Michael Jackson. 4/5/2020. Puerto Rico, TX. Bee on the Organ Pipe Cactus flower at El Mesteño Ranch in the South Texas Sand sheet eco-region of the Rio Grande Valley.
Billy Guerra. 5/31/2020. Falcon, TX. Monarch butterfly on my Greg's Mist flower. They come visit in the spring and again in October.
Bob Simpson. 10/21/2012. San Manuel, TX. The image was edited using Photoshop to create the watercolor effect.
Lisa Margo. 5/8/2020. Rio Grande City, TX. Our family loves spending time in nature. It is not only good for physical and mental health, but it also poses numerous opportunities to learn about animals, plants, ecosystems, and habitat conservation. When we cannot be hiking and camping, we enjoy watching wildlife around our home. We added butterfly gardens, native nectar and host plants, and water features all around our property. Butterfly colors, patterns and fluttering dances are remarkable and relaxing to watch. I captured this photo of a Monarch nectaring on some Gregg's Mistflower in one of our butterfly gardens. We have been teaching our kids that not only are butterflies an exquisite work of nature's art, but they also are an important part of our local ecosystem. They help pollinate flowers, eat weedy plants, and provide a food source for other animals. Wildlife protection starts at home, and our family has made changes to help protect and support the environment and our local habitat. We recycle, use solar energy, landscape with native species, harvest rainwater, compost, and provide shelter, seed, and plants for native birds and butterflies. Although habitat destruction continues worldwide, we hope that one day a balance can be found between what humans, animals, and plants need.
Lorena Balquinta. 6/15/2020. Mission, TX. This photograph of a Monarch butterfly was taken at the Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. Monarchs are a great influence amongst the valley people due to its heavy migration season. What better butterfly to represent the valley than the Monarch. When i was a child i would wonder endlessly in my backyard chasing after these butterflies hoping i could catch one in my hands. It has always been a significant childhood memory of mine, so every time i see a butterfly i remember the fond memories of my random adventures.
Caleb Camacho. 4/14/2020. Mission, TX. I took this shot in early Spring, just off the footpath at the Mission Hike & Bike Trails, where buzzing bees and plentiful birdsong are the only sound.
The following photographs include all online entries for Pollinators in Action: RGV Community Photographs.