A Lupine Flower With a Guest

Tuesday, July 14, 2020,

That amazingly beautiful flower is called Lupine. I only know that because my friend Sue Avery identified it for me. Sue was also able to explain to me that this is considered a single flower as opposed to several separate flowers. She added that a flower of this type is called a Raceme. Racemes are clusters of flowers that grow from the same base. So what looks to you and I like a pretty bunch of flowers may be entirely different to a botanist. I’m not at all sure that bees care one way or another. JK


This is Not a Bumblebee

Tuesday, July 7, 2020,

This is not a bumblebee. To the uneducated eye – mine – it certainly looks like one. Just look at it. A chubby bee – at least I got that part right – with black and yellow markings. That’s a bumblebee, right? Well, no. Not in this case.

I had sent these photos to my friend Sue Avery. She’s the lady that allows me to sound intelligent when I describe flowers. I’ve mentioned her here before. Not only is she my go to source for flower identification, but she has her own blog, which is beautifully written. I am always in awe of her prose. Sue was able to ID this pretty flower as Bugleweed. It is not a native plant and can be an aggressive spreader. If I sound informed, it is only because I am quoting Sue. Without her help, this post may have been titled, “A Bee on Purple Flowers.” 

But wait, there’s more. Our story doesn’t end there. Three weeks ago, I had posted a pair of photos of a Yellow Jacket. I had posted them on Facebook as well as here. One of the commentators there was able to inform me of the exact species of Yellow Jacket I had managed to photograph. I was duly impressed, so much so that I sent her these photos to see if she could identify what kind of bee I had here. As it turns out, Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann is a professional entomologist and more than knows her stuff. She was able to explain to me that this was no bumblebee. Instead it is a male Carpenter Bee. Its white face is the main field mark that identifies this as a male. The female Carpenter Bees do not wear white makeup.

If I sound the least bit informed, it is only because I have folks like Jody and Sue helping me out. Honest. JK.


Golden Opportunity! Limited Time Offer!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016,

No, I’m not trying to sell you anything. Honest.

However, this is a golden opportunity with a limited time availability. Do you guys know that big, beautiful Cedar Tree (it might be a Juniper) that is in the upper farm fields, South-West across Shep Jones Lane from the Barn? A couple years back there was a working hive inside the tree complete with a sign warning folks to be careful near the tree. Well, the tree has been re-colonized and if you time it just right you can get a glimpse of a beautiful sight. Truly golden.

20161026095225-5x7wtThis morning, the show started just before 10 AM. It’s not an instantaneous thing – in fact the window of opportunity lasts just over an hour – but it is a limited time sort of thing. Too soon or too late and you’ll miss it. Also, you need a cloudless or partly cloudy sky. There’s no show without direct sunlight. Trust me, I checked. Even the shadow of the nearby branches can block it. You’ll see the honeybees but not the gold and the gold is the reason check out this sight. It’s worth the trip. I think it’s magical, and when you see it, I think you’ll agree.


 This is a shot of one of the honeybees at the edge of the hole in the tree that houses the honeycomb. That golden orb beyond this bee is the honeycomb, just out of focus. This thing is beautiful even when it’s blurry. It truly is a sight to see. Don’t miss it. JK.