Wild, not Tame
Photo: Claire Takacs Great article on Forbes website about more interest in developing environmental friendly gardens: https://www.forbes.com/sites/reginacole/2022/02/28/the-chicest-gardens-today-are-not-groomed-or-tame-they-are-wild/?sh=796c937c498a&fbclid=IwAR2-IhPH-UEhg4VChTJomqQoqr_-DsTHWvQu-NvdiH1-BlgyYmGYGfRDflo
Butterflies are back!
Hooray, it's Spring! The front yard is bright with native plants in shades of purple, lavender and orange. Shortly after the blooming starts, the butterflies arrive. Above is a photo of a Painted Lady on a cluster of blossoms on the Verbena de la Mina shrub. It appears to be a West Coast Lady Vanessa annabella. Note its curved proboscis as it sips nectar from a blossom. Here a Monarch butterfly sips nectar from the same Verbena de la Mina shrub. The Verbena de la Mina is such
First sighting ever of a Western Bluebird in the garden
Photo by Brooke Miller/Macaulay Library This afternoon I happened to look out the living room window and saw a bird perched on a tall dried sunflower plant. I had never seen one of these before. Although the Western Scrub Jay also has brilliant blue and gray feathers, the bird was definitely not a jay. Unfortunately by the time I got my camera the bird flew away. According to the Cornell Lab All About Birds website, the bird I saw was a Western Bluebird. It's always so exciti
Native milkweed plants awakening
Oh, don't you love Spring? I've been monitoring our native milkweed pots for the past few weeks, wondering if the milkweed plants that went dormant would actually sprout again. We have had these milkweed plants for at least 8 years now, and you just never know how long the plants thrive in pots. This group of sprouts must have pushed through the soil overnight, because they weren't there yesterday. As you see here, some of the native milkweed sprouts start out red until the f
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Native bees out and about
Here they are! A Black Tailed Bumble Bee Bombus melanopygus approaches a cluster of Ray Hartman ceanothus blossoms. Note the yellow pollen basket on its hind leg. I only see these bees in our garden in the springtime, mostly visiting the ceanothus. A Mountain Carpenter Bee male Xylocopa tabaniformis orpifex nectaring on Chiapas salvia blossoms. These carpenter bees visit the Chiapas shrub all day long, as long as there is any ray of sunshine on the plant. A Pacific Digger Bee
Spring is here
Birds are singing and building nests, while some of the native bees are emerging from their nests. Fortunately our native plants are blooming in synch with the arrival of native bees and butterflies. With climate change, we can't take this all for granted. We have been lucky to have some rain showers in the very early morning hours. And we are grateful for every drop of rain. I have been spot watering plants several times a week with water saved from food preparation, as well
Shades of blue
Sometimes twilight can be just as dramatic as sunset. This was taken from our front porch a couple of days. I love the different cloud layers in different shades of blue. Every second there is an ever so subtle change in the clouds and fog.