Bees need a water source, too
In the late afternoon, I often find bees, especially honey bees, drinking water in the bird bath. This is one of the reasons why I have a flat stone in the bath. The bees can sit on the edge of the stone and sip water off the stone without danger of falling in the water and drowning.
Yellow-Faced Bumble Bees buddies
Well this is the first time I have ever seen two Yellow-faced bumble bees Bombus vosnesenskii at the same time on a lambs ear, and right next to each other. Isn't this a wonderful sight?! Now that the lambs ears are starting to bloom, there is a lot of activity around them, mostly Wool Carder bees and the Yellow-faced bumble bees. And here are the same two bees as they landed on the blooming lambs ear spire.
The Monarchs are back!
Look what we discovered on our native milkweed plants! Western Monarch butterfly caterpillars! The plants aren't very big yet, and I have only seen one or two monarchs flying in our garden. So we are so surprised, and elated. This one was on a very small, native Narrow-leafed milkweed, with no leaves left. So I cut the plant at the base and carried it with the caterpillar on it, to another container of the same kind of milkweed, where the leaves are lush. A lot of food for th
Busy Bewick Wren
We love to hear the chattering and songs of the Bewick Wrens. They are so fond of our garden, that they are constant visitors, bringing their fledglings for visits. This one was singing on the branch of our neighbors' apple tree. After singing, it foraged around our patio, finding a tasty insect morsel under the rim of of one of the plant containers. Shortly after it flew away with its found treasure, probably to feed its fledglings.
Oh my, the Lambs Ears are starting to bloom
Since we had very warm weather for the past two weeks, some plants such as the Lambs Ears are starting to bloom. Here is one of the Lambs Ears plants after a good rain shower. Oddly enough, after a dry spring season, we're getting the kind of rainstorms now that we should have gotten in March or April. Fortunately the rain is steady, and so far mostly soft drops, so it isn't damaging blossoms. There are several Lambs Ears spikes already producing blossoms. The blossoms attra
Ladybug farm at work on the Coastal Yellow Lupines
First the Coastal Yellow Lupines were gorgeous as they started to bloom. But slowly and surely creepy aphids have arrived and multiplied on both lupine shrubs, sucking out the life juices of the leaves and branches. Poor lupines, they are also starting to suffer from mildew. But the trusty ladybugs are back at work, multiplying on the shrubs. They eat the aphids, but look how large and plump the aphids are! There is just no way the ladybugs can eat all these little monsters.
Sleeping Bumble Bee
It's such a thrill to discover bees sleeping in the garden. Imagine sleeping right on your breakfast. This yellow-faced bumble bee Bombus vosnesenskii is sleeping on a Phacelia California Scorpionweed. What a grip these bees must have to cling on to a flower head overnight.
Yellow-faced Bumble bee on Rock Phacelia
And here is one of our friends, the Yellow-faced Bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, on a Rock Phacelia Phacelia californica. I'm so happy to have captured this image of the endangered bee on one of our new California native additions to the garden. This phacelia is also known as California scorpionweed. It is native to northern California and Oregon, usually found on coastal bluffs, in chaparral areas and woodlands. I located this plant at The Watershed Nursery https://www.wate