gardening

Happy Summer Solstice!

IMG_4173
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
IMG_4160
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

IMG_4184

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

IMG_4182

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
IMG_4151
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
IMG_4171
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

–Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

Uncategorized

The Bee Catalog, Part I

I’m on a mission today…yesterday I spent about two hours perusing my garden, amazed at how many different kinds of bees and wasps were out.

bee2

Today, I am starting to log how many different kinds of bees I observe in the garden. Lots of honeybees, per usual…

bee3

Right now, the honeybees are collecting from the sage, lavender, and thyme with a vengeance. The yarrow is just starting to bloom, and some have discovered the early flowers.

bee4

So many different types of smaller bees, too! I think this is a type of sweat bee or stingless bee…you can see the pollen that it’s collecting on its back legs.

bee1

This bee on the coreopsis was vibrating like crazy! At first, I thought it was a honeybee because it was a similar size, but the abdomen was not hairy at all and had very delineated striations. I think it was some kind of plasterer bee, sometimes called “cellophane bees” (Colletes) because of the silky fungus-resistant substance they make in order to glue and line the walls of their nest cells.

Yesterday when I was bee-watching, I spotted a giant wasp with a reddish-orange abdomen on the coreopsis. It was flitting its iridescent blue wings so fast it looked like it was pulsing. I wish I had my camera for that!

rose

One last flower for your viewing pleasure…the Tequila Sunrise in its prime.