How nice to still see bees active in the garden. Between the rainstorms we have periods of sun, and that's when the bees are out. Here is a honey bee getting nectar from a blossom on the Berzerkeley salvia shrub. I hope all of this welcome rain will help the shrubs grow even larger and bushier. At the same time, hopefully the remaining blossoms don't break off in the storms. Need to get every bit of nectar!
Some of the plants in our mostly native garden are still blooming. For example, at this time last year, this Agastache Mexicana "Forever Summer" Melon shrub was already dormant, with just the foliage and blossoms dried up. I kept deadheading and pruning the plant, which seems to encourage it to keep producing new blossoms. I'm delighted, as the hummingbirds must also be, for the nectar in the blossoms. The Cosmic Evolution coreopsis still has a few buds and blossoms. These ar
After several days of much awaited rain, the natives that were dormant through the dry summer and autumn are coming back to life. I can see that the Birds Eye Gilia Gilia tricolor has reseeded throughout the garden again, and here is an example. I can't wait for them to grow taller and produce their lovely tri-colored blossoms again. I purchased two "Ella Nelson's Yellow buckwheat Eriogonum nudum seedlings a couple of months ago. I expected to see just green foliage through
The story continues... The two previous posts discussed the male house finch, American robin, and the Yellow-rumped warbler at the bird bath. And here is an unusual meeting of all three. The house finch was determined to continue bathing, while the robin patiently stood by, taking sips of water from the bath. Meanwhile the warbler was getting visibly annoyed, waiting for its turn in the bath. It flew from a wooden post nearby, to the blackberry vine, and then flew off, circli
hey, the American robins are back! What an unusual sight at the birdbath, a house finch male in the bath while the robin patiently stands by, taking occasional sips of water. So what's unusual about this? First of all, I haven't seen house finches in the garden, let alone in the birdbath, for at least a couple of months. And, although the robins always return around this time of year for the winter, none of them have ever visited the birdbath. I've often wondered about this b
Isn't it always a matter of being at the right place, at the right time? With the poor air quality, I was housebound for most of the weekend, limited to making observations through a glass door to the patio. And look who decided to visit, a yellow-rumped warbler! I had never seen one of these birds before. These birds breed in the summer in mountainous areas, in mature coniferous woodlands. In the winter they frequent open areas, including parks and residential areas, where t
This isn't a black and white photo. It was taken mid-morning from our patio. The sky was gray again, and air quality very unhealthy. The birds and insects still deal with it. Here are two Anna's hummingbirds perched on branches of the neighbors' crab apple tree. I make sure that our plants still get watered a couple of times a week so that they still grow and produce flowers and nectar for the pollinators.
Even with the temperatures cooling down, and the smoky air from the Camp Fire further northeast, the bees are still busy at work in the garden. I mostly see honey bees, except for the occasional carpenter bee. Here is one of them, pollinating a Meyer lemon blossom. We are so fortunate to have bees frequently visiting. As long as we can provide them with nectar and pollen sources, they will come.
Bumble bees are now officially considered an endangered species. What very sad news. https://iheartintelligence.com/bumblebee-declared-endangered/?fb=iis&fbclid=IwAR2Qxa-LRezY0IW1iiSeC6KK74nXcBvQiZkFDZKvk03RswjIlnFTUX89jPs I value every sighting of them because they are not a common sight in our garden. Some photos of bumble bees in our garden this year: A black-tailed bumble bee Bombus melanopygus on a Coreopsis Grandiflora Sunburst blossom Yellow Face Bumble bee Bombus vosn
Although the terrible Camp Fire is many miles away, northeast in Butte County, the San Francisco Bay area is blanketed with the smoky air which has a strong smell. For the past three days, I have been using N95 particulate face masks whenever I am outdoors, whether commuting to work, or watering plants in the garden. Usually I spend a lot of time on the weekends outdoors pruning, deadheading, or weeding around plants. But this weekend I had to limit my time to the bare essent