Friday, May 22, 2009

Bee-autiful!

While it is still very early in the bee-season here (after all, the bird bath froze solid earlier in the week!) there is some bee activity. At first I thought I had been blessed with an abundance of BUMBLE BEES. But when I followed them around I discovered they were really pesky CARPENTER BEES and they were doing a real number on my garden shed. Holes everywhere!

I have seen some hover flies since the crabapples finished blooming, but not actually on any of the few perennials that are in flower. Right now I can see perennial geranium, dianthus (pinks), lupine, columbine, fuchsia, false indigo and some early rhodies. And then there are the zonal geraniums I potted up a few months ago from dormant roots. They are in bloom too but, honestly, they never seem to attract insects of any kind. Even the hummingbird flies right past them, preferring the fuchsia. (To that effect I'm growing only a few zonals this year, replacing them in flower boxes with short varieties of zinnias. Zins get lots of action!)

I did spot a couple of butterflies: a tiger swallowtail, and a very small (unidentified) dusky-colored one. But unless I start wearing my camera around my neck, they don't wait around for me to run get it. Camera shy?

So I was happy to actually have the camera on hand when I heard some buzzing around the lupines. All the noise came from this one little gal. (I couldn't tell if it was a mason bee or another solitary type of bee. Sorry. My bad. :-( ) It was hard for me to snap her pic; she was just too fast for me and seemed to be everywhere at once! I kept hoping to get a profile of her on the blossoms to show that her brilliant orange pollen sacks where just full to bursting. But, alas, this is the only pic that actually came out clear enough to see her on the flower. If you look closely you can just make out one of her fat sacks peeking out from behind her. I'm thinking she should get quite a haul. Seems she's got the run of the place right now. :-D

8 comments:

  1. Wow, my lupine are looking scraggly and only just starting to come up!! I planted them last year, and they're in a hard clay area, so maybe they're not happy. I need to keep ammending that spot. And the lupine I tried starting from seed this year mostly died off, but some are doing well in their flat outside and will probably get planted this weekend.

    Is it time to start watching out for cabbage butterflies yet? I don't want the little green worms eating my broccoli!

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  2. Yep. I did see one of those this morning...and I don't even HAVE any cole crops. (When I did, I covered them with nylon net - worked like a charm!)

    Those lupines were started from seed last spring. I planted out 8 and 4 sort of dissolved. The other 4 came back this year. But I know they need more shade than I give them...

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  3. Hm, shade? Yeah, this is on the south east corner of the house. Maybe I need to move 'em. I don't remember them being shade loving plants...

    I've been doing the floating row cover trick over the broccoli etc... They're in the same bed with snow peas though, which are in bloom, plus I needed to water everything, so the cover's been off the last few days.

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  4. Sounds like a place to enjoy. I love the flying visitors I get in my garden. What a company they make. But yeah, they are camera shy ...

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  5. Darla - thanks! :-D

    Blossom - it is enchanting to hear them buzzing or watch them flutter about as they visit the flowers. Certainly animates the gardens!

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  6. Goregeousss! the weather where I am is getting stranger each day...the bees are still hybernating I think ;)
    ~Lovely Long weekend dear!

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  7. Lenore - thanks for visiting. Hope you too enjoyed your long weekend. Got that attic all sorted out now? ;-D

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