August 12, 2020

Oh, it's the best thing to observe little native butterflies visiting the native patch.

It seems that there are more of them in the latter part of the summer, when a lot of vegetation is drying up.

The butterflies shown here are very small, so you might not notice them v...

August 5, 2020

Wool Carder bees Anthidium manicatum are always at work in the garden.

They continue to try to be menacing, chasing other bees away from nectar sources.

I keep trying to take great photographs of the females at work when they are scraping hairs off the underside of Lamb...

August 1, 2020

It's that glorious time of year when buckwheat is nearly the main event in the native garden.

This is a true California garden.

From left to right, naked buckwheat, red buckwheat, Ella Nelson's yellow buckwheat (now rust colored), and Seacliff buckwheat.

In the foreground...

July 31, 2020

There are currently three Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae caterpillars on the Oaklandia Passionflower Passiflora parritae x tarminiana‘Oaklandia’ !

This is an awesome event because we saw none on the vine for the past three years, although we often observed a female G...

July 25, 2020

Yesterday I observed this fascinating and humorous interaction between a hungry Northern Mockingbird fledgling and its mother.

First I saw the fledgling land in one of the plant beds, and then it flew to a nearby large pot containing a Blue Blossom Ceanothus Ceanothus t...

July 23, 2020

We were honored again with a visit from a mama monarch yesterday.

After resting on the Chiapas salvia for a while, she made her rounds of the milkweed plants, laying eggs on them.

Although our days have been very cloudy for almost a week, we usually have sunny breezy aft...

July 22, 2020

And... they're back!

At first I thought this was a digger bee, but the antennae are so long.

I didn't dare to hope, but sure enough, this is indeed a male Summer Long-horned Bee Melissodes robustior.

See the yellow marking on the lower part of his face.

And such long ante...

July 21, 2020

It's always such a treat to spot native butterflies in the garden.

Most of them are so small and blend in with the plants, that the only way you'll notice them is by patiently waiting and spotting movement. 

Such was the case with this Gray Hairstreak butterfly Strymon...

July 20, 2020

What a wonderful surprise to discover this male monarch visiting our garden!

We first noticed him sipping the nectar from several flower heads of red valerian plants growing near our kitchen door.

By the time I got my camera, he was happily flying in the breeze.

And then...

July 16, 2020

Some of the milkweed plants have had a chance to produce new leaves after the onslaught of monarch caterpillars last month.

Mama monarch's efforts are once again rewarded.

These two little ones are now munching away on the narrow leaf milkweed Asclepias fascicularis.

As y...

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bees in the bay breeze
 

For years I have been sharing ideas, gardening tips and recipes  with family, friends and colleagues.

And now I'd like to share them with you!

 

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