Sunday, August 16, 2009

Flower Bed

Bees sleeping in flowers gives a new meaning to the term "flower bed."

I found this bumble bee sleeping in a sunflower this morning. The morning was cool, in the 60s. This picture was taken about 8:45 am. As the morning warmed up, bee took off and started his daily routine. At 8:30 pm, I found a bumble bee on the same flower, sleeping. I imagine it's the same one!

Turning around, I found this honey bee, sleeping in the allysum. From my limited web research, I find the bees do sleep in flowers - the male that doesn't have to return to the hive at night. Females go back to the hive. Also, found that only the female has a stinger, so sleeping bees can be approached, gently, and even lightly touched. I did not so experiment!

I learned that bees hold on with either their legs or their mandibles and tuck in for the night. The bees wings are still and they just sit there. As soon as the day starts to warm up the bees will begin stirring and again begin their search pollen or mates. Some say that the bee isn't sleeping but rather slowing down metabolism to save energy in the cool of the evening. I'm not sure how one would decide a bee is sleeping or saving energy.

I'll bet that honey bees have sweet dreams.....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This is one of the things I like to make with the blackberries that I harvest from my yard. This is the first berry smoothie of the year. Yum!
Fresh Blackberries
Fresh Clementine orange
Fresh Banana
Frozen pineapple pieces
Frozen Lambert cherries
Some nonfat plain yogurt
Some soy milk

All measures: your choice.
With my mix, it was about 160 calories, 8g fiber, 3g protien

Monday, August 3, 2009

White sunflower seeds?

I might not completely understand how the sunflower evolves into sunflower seeds. But, this looks like it will end up having white sunflower shells.

Let's keep our eye on this one.

Weather - got up to mid-80s today. At 7pm, breezy and comfortable - finally!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

When I went out to do my "count" for the Great Sunflower Project, I found this bee just sitting on the sunflower. I thought maybe he was dead from heat exhaustion as the temperature on Tuesday was 104 in the shade. And out in the backyard in the afternoon sun, well, it was a stunning experience. But, after awhile, the bee staggered and then perked up, flew away.

The count time is 15 minutes - watch your sunflowers and count the number of bees you see. Then report. I saw 4 wasps - they landed on the leaves and then looked like they were doing push-ups; didn't go to the blossom; 3 honey bees, and 1 bumble bee.

Here is a sunflower that is ready to bloom. Of the 18-20 seeds I planted in spring time, I have 6 strong plants and 3-4 smaller ones.

This type of sunflower produces a couple of blossoms on each stalk. They don't last long, and they don't appear to make seeds (but, I could be wrong about that). After they bloom, they sort of wither and droop.

Tuesday, the weather was horrendous - 104 in the shade. Wednesday, 100. It's been coming down a degree a day since then. Today it was 97. Night time getting down to 60s finally. I've been watering daily early morning 5-6 am, and late at night about 10 pm.