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January 18, 2020

After several cool, gray days and a gully-washer of a rainstorm yesterday, the sunshine was sheer delight today.

While checking out the backyard and patio, I heard the distinctive humming of a bumble bee.

I looked up toward the neighbor's ivy vines, and sure enough, ther...

December 16, 2019

After a week of misty, rainy weather, we enjoyed a weekend of sunshine.

The plants were starting to get soggy, blossoms moldy.

We love the winter rain, but it's nice to have a sunny day now and then, when the plants can dry out just a little bit, and pollinators emerge.

W...

November 26, 2019

Some of the California poppies are blooming again.

I cut the poppy plants back several times this year when the stems and foliage dried up.

Now that we have had cooler weather with foggy mornings, the plants seem refreshed, with green foliage.

The blossoms are so brillian...

November 14, 2019

Now that many nectar producing plants are going dormant, the English ivy seems to be the main attraction for the bees. As long as temperatures are warm enough, bees are constantly visiting the ivy berries.

The English ivy in our backyard forms a fence or wall between ou...

November 6, 2019

I'm currently reading this extraordinary memoir by award-winning journalist Meredith May, who is a  fifth- generation beekeeper.

A story of survival and courage, it is also a reminder of how much we humans can learn from bees.

November 4, 2019

A month ago we still had a group of monarch caterpillars on the Narrow-leaf milkweed plants Asclepias fascicularis. I meant to cut down all of the milkweed mid-September, as per the recommendation of the Xerces Society, but a mama monarch kept visiting and laying eggs.

...

October 30, 2019

A male monarch visited the garden on Sunday while we were experiencing strong wind gusts.

It was after nectar, and was not going to be deterred by some wind.

The blossoms on the blackberry hedge are very popular with all of the pollinators right now, and the monarch was...

October 29, 2019

Butterflies held their own in spite of the very strong gusts of wind yesterday.

They navigated well through the powerful air currents, and easily landed on leaves and flowers.

Here a cabbage white rests on a nasturtium leaf.

And a painted lady spent time on future ivy ber...

October 28, 2019

Such a nice surprise to see a yellow-faced bumble bee visiting.

These bumble bees had been a constant presence in our garden from the early spring through September. For the past month I've mostly seen honey bees, and it seemed like the yellow-faced bumblebees went into...

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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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January 14, 2020