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June 28, 2019

 As you may remember from my post early this month, we were fortunate to have a monarch mama visit the backyard in May, and lay eggs on our native milkweed plants.

The eggs hatched, developed into little caterpillars that ate, and ate, and ate up the milkweed leaves. Ev...

June 26, 2019

One afternoon last week I heard the familiar chatter, screech and trills of Bewick Wrens. But there were also some other cheeping sounds.

I then saw a fluffy bird perched on a garden pole on the patio. Because of the fluffiness I didn't recognize what kind of bird it wa...

June 24, 2019

Another first in our garden - a California Bumble Bee Bombus californicus !

I was doing my usual thing, walking around the garden with my camera, when I spotted the bee. It spent a long time visiting flower heads on the De La Mina verbena.

With the two yellow stripes it...

June 23, 2019

And what a fuzzy one this leaf cutter megachile bee is.

It is collecting pollen from the face of a Serpentine Sunflower Helianthus bolanderi.

These are such fascinating bees with their hairy bellies.

They transport pollen on these hairs.

This must be a male leaf cutter bee...

June 22, 2019

At first glance doesn't this look like an exotic flower with a lot of petals?

That's what I thought at first until I realized that the Cabbage White Pieris rapae was feeding on the nectar.

The butterfly was there for several minutes, and fluttered in the breeze along wit...

June 21, 2019

My what big eyes you have!

This is a male California Carpenter Bee Xylocopa californica.

There is some pollen caught on its hairs.

In urban gardens carpenter bees visit wisteria for pollen and nectar, and salvia and lavender for nectar. We don't grow wisteria, but we have...

June 20, 2019

I'm very excited to have observed for the first time in the garden a masked bee Hylaeus rudbeckiae. This one is a female on the blossom of a bee plant Scrophularia californica.

These bees may have been visiting the garden for the past couple of years that we have lived...

June 19, 2019

The wool carder bees Anthidium manicatum are back in full force, now that the lambs ears are blooming. Although they forage for nectar in our salvia and native lupines, they are constantly monitoring the lambs ears.

I think this one is is a male, because of the lighter...

June 18, 2019

Another cheerful Umber Skipper Poanes melane in the garden, this time perched on the top of a Chiapas flower stem.

There are many of these skippers visiting our garden all day. They seem to be very curious because sometimes when I am taking photos in the garden, they w...

June 17, 2019

All hail the mighty little Ivory Banded Digger Bee Anthophora urbana !

These solitary bees nest i the soil, often in flat, bare ground.

Their peak flight activity is from June through September.

The flowers of choice for them are lavender and salvia, but I often see them...

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bees in the bay breeze
 

For years I have been sharing ideas, gardening tips and recipes  with family, friends and colleagues.

And now I'd like to share them with you!

 

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December 9, 2019