Sunday, 11 August 2013

Drookit bees...

We must have about 50 bees on the lavender bushes at the front of the house at the moment. I had planned to weed the gap between the lavender and the front window so that I could chuck in a few poppy seeds (some giant puffballs, the seeds pinched from a garden in town) or transplant some of the Japanese anemones, but distracted as the bees appear to be, I'm not sure if they might not rise up en masse to attack the giant invader of their space. So, I'll leave it for now...

When we had torrential rain last week we spotted something we'd never noticed before - the bees were all clinging to the underside of the lavender, taking some shelter from the downpour.

It was quite a strange sight - all the buzzing halted, all the bees hanging there patiently waiting for the deluge to end...! In the 15-30 seconds I was out there taking these pictures above, the rain soaked right through my jacket!

Then this week, while taking some pictures of the multitude of buzzy-ness going on around the garden, I spotted a bee attempting something akin to a doggy paddle in one of the water dishes. A handy discarded pigeon feather acted as a life-raft, and I plonked one almost-drowned bee on top of some marjoram to dry out.

Over the next wee while I went back to check on it a few times, and even moved it to a sunnier spot to help it dry out. Three-quarters of an hour later, I watched it wiggle its bottom, give its wings a final stroke with its hind legs, and then buzz off. Job done.

There are scores of cabbage whites everywhere (no doubt due to my first attempt to grow cauliflower and some accidental broccoli - accidental as in I didn't plant them there...!) and a few of their more colourful cousins. C had to rescue a Peacock butterfly that got into the house. They're much bigger indoors, somehow!

Nice to see the neighbours having a chat across the marjoram.

The first broccoli, incidentally, turned up in a hanging basket - a real cuckoo-in-the-nest scenario, as it grew bigger and bigger until I finally turfed it out and planted it in the garden, just to see what it might grow up to be. Two more then turned up in unexpected places - I assume some birds had some of the seed that the neighbours had planted, and left me some as a gift, a little like last year's tomato plant which grew more healthily in the front garden, neglected by me because I didn't even know it was there, than the cossetted ones in the back garden. This year there's also a tomato plant in a pot which has a tree in it - again, hidden by other stuff, I didn't notice it until it had the beginnings of tomatoes... Not sure the tree will survive, but the tomatoes are looking promising! Thanks birdies!

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