The birds and the bees …. but mostly bees

I have spent most of the last three days working long hours on a rush commission and I can’t put it up yet, so here is a little wildlife info from the home front.

Big bumble bee

The insect population seems to have taken as big a hit this summer as the foliage and larger animals.  With fewer flowers blooming and the all around dryness I haven’t seen much of anything moving around in the flower beds. Lately, with the  good rains we had in the last couple of weeks, we have had a small resurgence in the foliage.  Both the butterfly bush and the bluebeard have bloomed profusely and I am starting to see the return of some visitors.  I love both of these shrubs.  The color of the butterfly bush is an iridescent purple that shimmers in the sunlight.  The blue beard carries a profusion of purpley/blue flower clusters as a late summer floral feature.  It can grow up to 4-5′ if it is not trimmed back but can be held to a smaller height if needed with a yearly whacking.  I let the ones in the back under our gazebo grow as wild as they want and trim the front ones in the spring.

A honey bee?

Surprisingly, buzzing along with the ubiquitous bumble bees, I think I am seeing some honey bees at last.  It has been many years since I have seen any at all, due to the honey bee die off, but I think these might be the real thing.  I first saw them when the sage bloomed a month early in April and now I seeing them again on both shrubs.  The air is pleasantly alive the apian sounds.  The humming is incredibly loud and they don’t seem to mind when I brush around them.  I have never been stung.  I think they are drunk on the nectar.

And a butterfly too

I have also seen several hummingbirds at the butterfly bush, the balloon flowers, and the spirea.  I tried to get a photo but they are so quick and they never stay long enough that I can get there in time with the camera.  I am glad to see that they are living through this difficult summer too.  And let’s not forget the butterflies either.

The flowers have been welcoming to all.