I normally post nature observations in our garden. But nature encompasses not only plants, butterflies, bees and birds, but all living beings. In this case, brown pelicans migrating north, flying along the seashore. We drove to the Point Reyes National Seashore for a day trip. This is one of my most favorite places ever. And although it just takes a little over an hour for us to drive there, it feels like a completely different world. There we always like to walk along a beac
A gulf fritillary visits the patio every afternoon. I wouldn't be surprised if it is the same butterfly. Here it is in one of the lavender plants. Such a lovely butterfly, whose underwings are so different from the top. Sometimes it just likes to rest on a leaf, in this case a Chiapas salvia leaf, warming its wings in the sunshine. And I know why it visits so often. This, a Passiflora parritae x tarminiana‘Oaklandia’ passion flower plant, which is a host plant for the gulf fr
If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend, you must check out the Fall Extravaganza at Annie's. It's always so much fun, with raffle prizes, face painting, face painting and food. And of course, the greatest feature of all - acres of lovely plants! For more information: http://www.anniesannuals.com/events/19/fall19/schedule_events.htm?fbclid=IwAR1N3tA9SzDQ7ptH2YCqSmswp4tSoOQ_v3Sj6jprL6ckKXERKBbkUzc9pRk
Today this anise swallowtail visited the wild red valerian flowerheads, still in full bloom. Look at all that pale colored pollen on its face, legs and edges of its wings. This was a particularly beautiful swallowtail, very energetic and with perfect markings. I suspect this is a young swallowtail, recently emerged from its chrysalis, because the wings showed no signs of damage or tears. There is a lot of fennel growing tall along one of our neighbor's driveways, and that is
Even though the cosmos bipinnatus "prom dress" is slowly drying up, it still is getting a lot of visiting pollinators. Look at the long proboscis on the umber skipper! Meanwhile the cabbage white took a break in the warm afternoon sun. We feel honored to have so much life in the garden.
It is so awe inspiring when I look out the living room window and see this. At the end of a hectic day, when one is feeling worn out, a sunset like this brings serenity and peace to the soul. And it always renews the appreciation of our fragile planet, and all living beings on it.
Not only are milkweed plants important for the monarch butterfly larvae, but other beneficial insects are attracted to the plants as well. For example, here a honey bee is landing on the flowerhead of narrow leaf milkweed. Look at the leaf to the right of the honey bee, and you will see the profile of a ladybug. This ladybug has been hard at work eating the pesky aphids that were covering the stalks of both flowerheads. And here the honey bee is feeding on the nectar of the m
How great is this?! A standing, fabric strawberry planter made from 100% recycled material, including recycled water bottles. A few months ago, when I bought two more strawberry seedlings from our local farmers' market, I looked for another planting box at the East Bay Nursery in Berkeley, https://www.eastbaynursery.com/ What good fortune to discover fabric planters made from 100% recycled material made by bloem BAGZ! And look how the plants are thriving, shooting off runners
Those lovely little umber skippers are always around the garden, either by themselves or in groups of two or three. And there are still enough plants producing blossoms and nectar to nourish the skippers and other pollinators. Here is a skipper sipping nectar from a lavender blossom before it flutters off to other plants.
Well goodness me, the Northern mockingbird parents are molting. I looked up at the crab apple tree and saw this one. At first glance it looked like a fuzzy fledgling. And then, oops, just what is going on here? Adults undergo a complete molt after the breeding season. They can then direct all of their energy into building new feathers. Molt keeps the birds in top flying condition, because every feather is replaced.