The swamp or skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) emerged a couple of weeks ago down at the stream. I had read that it provides one of the earliest sources of pollen in the spring and I was curious if my bees were taking part. Upon closer scrutiny I indeed found many bees flying in, crawling deep into the dark purplish curled hood and then off again to the hive to store the pollen. The foul odor attracts the bees and inside they may find a cozy temperature reaching into the 80's. After knee deep in mud and patiently awaiting for a bee to emerge, I captured this great shot. If you click on the picture, you can see the bee at the tip.