Just a quiet evening on the front deck before dinner, and look who came to visit! We have been seeing more Monarch butterflies these last few weeks than I can ever remember. I took a chance to run in the house for my camera, and this must have been a very hungry butterfly!
The green and white crocus leaves outnumber the current amount of flowers, so I am anticipating many more blooms. Mr. Sun peeked out from the overcast sky just a few times today, and the plants do feel the unusual February warmth. Fifty degrees F (10 degrees C) would have felt much warmer if the sun really came out.
While I was taking pictures, I heard a bee – so early in the season. He found a crocus flower and went straight for the pollen. At that moment, my camera batteries decided to run down. I fumbled through the case for my spare pair of batteries, and clumsily made the switch. Where did that bee go? He was having an orgy with himself still in the flower cup! I decided to leave him in crocus heaven, as he was in no rush to leave, and that was the only ‘game in town’ today.
I attended a party recently where someone brought about a dozen budded sunflowers to share. Of course I took one home to plant in my garden. What a cool surprise when it bloomed red-orange. The bees like it a lot, also. This is not near as tall as a yellow sunflower with a giant head full of seeds that grows 8 to 10 feet tall. The flower pictured above is about 3 feet (one meter) high, at most.
The first aster plant I bought, the purple flowered one in the first photo, looked a little sad in the discount section of one of my favorite nurseries, Down to Earth in Eugene, Oregon. A birthday present to myself. I would give it a good home and bring it back to life.
How little I knew at that time. It seems these are very sturdy plants, as long as I keep them from the deer, and give them enough water. Oh, yes, and they like to multiply. So I moved the new plants around to different places in the garden. Flowers of the off-spring apparently do not have to be the same color as their parents, as I now have a variety of colors of asters growing. I have not seen the white flowered plant yet this year, but it may be still to come.
In the second picture you can see a moth and a bee appreciating the blossoms. I am careful as I walk among these flowers, as I know the bees and wasps can be easily agitated as the season wears on.
These make great cut flowers, and will keep on blooming if the stems are not cut too short.
I was looking at flowers to photograph, and saw this bee on a tulip leaf. Really wanted to take a photo of him on a flower, but it is not as if I can say, “Sir (or ma’am), could you please fly to a nearby flower so I can take your picture there?”
When I looked at the photo up close, a surprise: the bee’s legs are full of pollen.
This is one of the largest bees I have seen here. We get plenty of bees, but they are usually smaller. This one may not have been too active, as the sun is having a hard time breaking out of the clouds today, and it is still coolish, 59 degrees F.