Here is the link to a beautiful publication from the USDA Forest Service and Pollinator Partnership all about bees and their habitats: https://efotg.sc.egov.usda.gov/references/public/SC/Bee_Basics_North_American_Bee_ID.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1af_hZ0pFMJkwTRDNN54v6oNCB61gGp8U6trljTGk-NTJPRDX2Bv0Z-J8 Also, a free pollinator-friendly native plant guide from the Xerces Society: https://xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/pollinator-friendly-plant-lists?fbclid=IwAR1dU8WYvzU-abuBMB5ZiEhdhD
The first time I saw a spotted towhee was last summer. I had never seen one before, and first thought it was an American robin, because the coloring is so similar. But the robin has a white circle around its eyes and doesn't have the white speckles. After doing some research on the Audubon site, I learned that it was a spotted towhee. This winter the towhee has been an occasional visitor and seems to enjoy the bird bath. Such a welcome sight!
At last we had a pretty good soaking of rain, with the bonus of hailstones. The hailstones were the size of pearls. Some created interesting formations on the mat of our kitchen porch. They were strewn all over the mat. And then the rain melted the stones. I have no idea what the wheel-like images reflected in the melting drops are, but they certainly are interesting.
I heard a Northern mockingbird singing loudly. When I looked out the kitchen door window I saw this. There are both white crowned and golden crowned sparrows. They seemed to have found a good place to absorb the warmth of the late afternoon sun.
Budino is Italian for "pudding". This is a very light and scrumptious dessert, that serves 6 portions. You will need 6 ramekins. I have had this recipe for many years, cut out of a food magazine. I don't remember which magazine, but this recipe is from Craig Stoll, chef and co-owner of Delfina restaurant in San Francisco. We are fortunate to have a very productive large Meyer lemon tree in our backyard, so we always have a lemon source. Here is my slightly altered version of
These are Golden-crowned sparrows. The sparrow on the left just emerged from the bath after much splashing. It is thoroughly soaked. Meanwhile the sparrow on the right patiently waited its turn on the platform, just outside of the bath. It is singing. Golden-crowned sparrows sing very beautiful, high notes.
This was the view from our front porch two days ago. The thick fog bank in the bay turned hills and mountains into islands. Then we experienced this lovely sunset that same evening. A few minutes later the sky was dramatic with different shades of orange. The pine tree branch seems to be sweeping along with the clouds.