These leafcutter bees (megachile sp) aren't rare by any means; right now there are scores of them out collecting nectar and pollen whenever the sun is out. But they are so active it was a challenge to get a clear photo. Whoo hoo, yeah: two triumphal apoidea photos in a row. This bee was caught resting on a leaf for an inordinant couple of seconds.
I hadn't noticed these bees in the yard until late this summer. If you're like me, though, you are probably all too familiar with the semi-circle cut-out evidence of their presence on your rose leaves. They harvest leaf bits to line their nest chambers with. I'll have to dig out a really nice photo of those scalloped leaves from the archives when I have a chance.