July 31, 2020

There are currently three Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae caterpillars on the Oaklandia Passionflower Passiflora parritae x tarminiana‘Oaklandia’ !

This is an awesome event because we saw none on the vine for the past three years, although we often observed a female G...

July 25, 2020

Yesterday I observed this fascinating and humorous interaction between a hungry Northern Mockingbird fledgling and its mother.

First I saw the fledgling land in one of the plant beds, and then it flew to a nearby large pot containing a Blue Blossom Ceanothus Ceanothus t...

July 23, 2020

We were honored again with a visit from a mama monarch yesterday.

After resting on the Chiapas salvia for a while, she made her rounds of the milkweed plants, laying eggs on them.

Although our days have been very cloudy for almost a week, we usually have sunny breezy aft...

July 22, 2020

And... they're back!

At first I thought this was a digger bee, but the antennae are so long.

I didn't dare to hope, but sure enough, this is indeed a male Summer Long-horned Bee Melissodes robustior.

See the yellow marking on the lower part of his face.

And such long ante...

July 21, 2020

It's always such a treat to spot native butterflies in the garden.

Most of them are so small and blend in with the plants, that the only way you'll notice them is by patiently waiting and spotting movement. 

Such was the case with this Gray Hairstreak butterfly Strymon...

July 20, 2020

What a wonderful surprise to discover this male monarch visiting our garden!

We first noticed him sipping the nectar from several flower heads of red valerian plants growing near our kitchen door.

By the time I got my camera, he was happily flying in the breeze.

And then...

July 16, 2020

Some of the milkweed plants have had a chance to produce new leaves after the onslaught of monarch caterpillars last month.

Mama monarch's efforts are once again rewarded.

These two little ones are now munching away on the narrow leaf milkweed Asclepias fascicularis.

As y...

July 13, 2020

Now that it's in the middle of the summer, and days are hot, bees are all over the garden, sipping nectar and collecting pollen.

The little sweat bees seem to be particularly fond of the buckwheat blossoms.

Here is a sweat bee dwarfed by a Sea Cliff Buckwheat Eriogonum p...

July 9, 2020

The day after the second monarch, a male, emerged and flew away, the third chrysalis was in a hurry to eclose.

In the late morning, this chrysalis was a dark green, but not dark enough to indicate signs of eclosing the same day. Imagine our surprise when we checked on i...

July 7, 2020

This male monarch pupated beneath the lip of a large pot containing a rose plant.

He is number two of our emerged monarchs and eclosed a couple of days ago.

You can see his empty chrysalis shell in the background.

After he dried his wings it was time to find a good place...

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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.

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