Abandoned House finch nest looks poofier
Hmmm, wonder what's going on with the abandoned nest. Now it looks poofier with a lot of new nesting material which could be dried grass. You can tell the difference between what the nest originally looked like at the time it was abandoned (photo below), and now. It looks like another pair of birds decided to build on top of the ready-built nest, adding finer and softer material. Here is the current nest from another angle. Whenever I look at the nest, from a great distance o
Most native bees nest in the ground
Whenever you have the opportunity, teach people about your native bees. https://blog.nature.org/science/2019/08/19/focus-on-native-bees-not-honey-bees/?fbclid=IwAR0uRc9V9hn688jPA7JDg8unry8Xjv07XKkajcdzhmrhJbBq_zzQXZ7bDFs
Some plants that actually thrive in clay soil
As I mention in my posts, the soil in our yard is hard-pan clay. This makes it very challenging to have plants that actually flourish in the yard. Here is a great article from treehugger.com that lists some plants that thrive in clay soil https://www.treehugger.com/plants-for-clay-soil-5225683 Please plant what is native to your area.
Mona Caron's Joe Pye Weed Mural
Swiss-born artist Mona Caron creates beautiful, giant murals on buildings. This is her Joe Pye weed mural, titled Shauquethqueat's Eutrochium, on a building in Jersey City, New Jersey. It is part of her WEEDS series. Currently Caron is working on a mural of a milkweed in Denver, Colorado. Click here to read more about the Joe Pye mural and the WEEDS series https://mymodernmet.com/mona-caron-flower-mural/
It's World Bee Day!
In honor of our hardworking bees, here are some that are busy in our garden all day long. In the photo above, one of our many Yellow-faced Bumble Bees Bombus vosnesenskii visitors in a California poppy. Note the full orange pollen basket on its hind leg. Another Yellow-faced Bumble bee landing in a tattered California poppy. The poppies in our garden are often buffeted in the strong winds that we experience here. A Wool Carder Bee Anthidium manicatum creating for its nest a
Plant Natives in your Garden
Read more about key native plants that support shrinking number of insects, stabilize food webs here: https://www.udel.edu/udaily/2020/december/doug-tallamy-native-plants-food-web-insects-birds-survival-earth/?fbclid=IwAR17fDimKqdJ3w3T9jQomPN9mR6WGR1pPvcah6QqTOoYeoneBFtuk1OiC5k#:~:text=Powerhouse%20plants%20%7C%20UDaily&text=UD's%20Doug%20Tallamy%20(left)%20is,leaf%20on%20an%20oak%20tree
Honey Bees in the birdbath
Yesterday around 5 pm I checked the birdbath to see if the water needed to be changed or replenished. This is the scene I came upon, honey bees congregating on the rock in the bath and sipping water from it. This is the first time I've ever seen a group of bees on the rock. In the past, occasionally I've seen a honey bee on the rock, but nothing like this. Flowering branches from a tall blackberry hedge are hanging above and around the bath, and the bees are visiting the blos
Bush Monkey-flowers Diplacus aurantiacus are also known as Sticky Monkey-flowers. They got their name because they have a mouth-like shape, and some think they resemble a monkey face. The "Sticky Monkey-flower" is the more common name, given to the plant because its deep green leaves are coated with a resin. They are native to the southwestern parts of North America, from southwestern Oregon, through California and Baja, Mexico. They are host plants to butterflies and moths,
Little native butterflies in the garden
The little skippers are some of the first butterflies to appear in the garden in the springtime. They never seem to mind having their photo taken. Here is an umber skipper Lon melane sipping nectar from a Blue Field Gilia Gilia capitata flower cluster. I've tried to grow these lovely native flowers in our native patch, but the soil is such hard clay, that the plants didn't grow very tall or produce many blooms. This year I planted several seedlings in well draining rich soil
Ants are important!
Read more here: https://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu/ants/ecological-importance?fbclid=IwAR0mID2dAHUlXk8u9yRiOjak6fOVYtbK7FGBa2XI3Ka7wHUljgAKMUM1EXA