A male monarch visited the garden on Sunday while we were experiencing strong wind gusts. It was after nectar, and was not going to be deterred by some wind. The blossoms on the blackberry hedge are very popular with all of the pollinators right now, and the monarch was going to get its share of nectar. When the gusts were especially strong, the monarch clung to the blossoms, adjusting its wings to the air currents. Here the monarch is uncoiling its proboscis to sip nectar fr
Butterflies held their own in spite of the very strong gusts of wind yesterday. They navigated well through the powerful air currents, and easily landed on leaves and flowers. Here a cabbage white rests on a nasturtium leaf. And a painted lady spent time on future ivy berries.
Such a nice surprise to see a yellow-faced bumble bee visiting. These bumble bees had been a constant presence in our garden from the early spring through September. For the past month I've mostly seen honey bees, and it seemed like the yellow-faced bumblebees went into hibernation. But there still is some nectar and pollen to be had. The blackberry plants that act as a hedge between our neighbor's and our property, are still producing some blossoms. So there still is some bu
The warm October weather keeps the pollinators around, as long as we there is nectar and pollen to be had. Many of the native bees seem to already have gone into hibernation, since most of their food sources are now dormant. But the honey bees are still out and about. The honey bee above is getting nectar from blossoms on the Berzerkeley salvia shrub. The shrub is also often visited by hummingbirds, hoverflies and wasps.
When the brown-eyed bushtits descend upon the garden they always travel in flocks of at least twelve. There is always a lot of activity and twittering as they fly through the foliage, picking insects off leaves and blossoms. This individual was dining on a meal of insects from the base of a blossom on the Redvein Indian mallow shrub. And when the feast was over, it was time to fly to another plant.
Along with the White crowned sparrows, the Golden-crowned sparrows are back from the tundra. This Golden-crowned sparrow found some insects on the dried California Delta sunflower. Moments like this are always reminders why we shouldn't cut down all of the dried or dormant plants in anticipation of winter. Birds need to have branches to land on. Pollinators' and other wildlife diet includes seeds, ants, beetles, spiders and fruit such as apples and grapes. From the duller yel
One thing you can always be sure of, where there's lavender blooming, you'll find honey bees. Our two lavender plants in the front yard bloom almost constantly. When the weather is warm enough, at least around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, honey bees visit the plants throughout the day. It took me several years to figure out that if I constantly deadheaded the lavender, it will keep producing new blossoms. This proves to be true, at least with the lavender we have growing in the gro
Pollinators are still in the garden this autumn, fortunately. We've only been living in this house for a couple of years, so I keep trying to figure out which native plants to plant that will bloom at different times of the year to keep the pollinators fed. It's still a matter of planting and monitoring. Since I left some of the areas alone where the dandelions keep popping up, the pollinators always have these as nectar sources. This hoverfly remained on the dandelion blosso
How exciting to see the white-crowned sparrows back for the winter. They nest on the tundra in arctic and subarctic Alaska and Canada during the summer, then migrate. Some of them migrate to California for the winter. From a distance it can be difficult to see the markings on sparrows, to determine if they are white-crowned or golden-crowned. But once you zoom in with the camera lens, there's no mistaking these sparrows for any others. From the bold black and white stripes on
Today was a beautiful day. The sun shone and there was a distinctive slight crispness in the air. Fall is gradually making its arrival in the Bay Area. And the butterflies fluttered through the air, landing on their remaining nectar sources. The Russian River Coyote Mint is still thriving. It is one of the last native plants to bloom, and attracts bees and butterflies throughout the day. The umber skippers seem to be constant visitors. Look at the long proboscis of this skipp