This was a pile of gorse that my wife and I had PULLED OUT (that’s a different story).  We had had lots of rain so it was soaking wet.  I had fanned the little flame with a piece of cardboard but it kept dying back.  Then I remembered my battery-powered leaf blower. Hahaha.  It worked VERY well.  I was almost done burning when I thought I should shoot some video.

Where did the gorse (Ulex europaeus) come from, you ask?  The gorse, as well as the name of our town of Bandon, Oregon actually came from Bandon, IRELAND in the 1890’s.

2A Johann's Three Echiums

June 6, 2018…..I can’t say if these echiums are “Towers of Jewels” or “echium Pininana,” but I’m quite sure they came from the seeds of my original single plant purchased from my favorite nursery in October of 2013.  They called it a “Tower of Jewels.”  “Your bees will love it.”  They were right.

A couple of years ago, Johann, one of our young neighbors, wanted to start a garden.  My wife and I grow many bee-loving flowers and donated a couple of little echium starts to him for as you may know, once an echium decides to bloom, it will attract the pollinators and start many little seedlings.

On one of our daily walks last month, Johann flags us down,   “You know those plants you gave me?  They grew real tall.”  He pointed them out and I could see the tops of them from the backyard.  I haven’t made any videos for a long while and asked if I could shoot one.  Then I remembered that he was a musician…maybe he could provide some music.  This is the collaboration along with some scenes from around the neighborhood.

 

Garden Colors

5455 Poppies, 6-1-17

Poppies are open.

5494 Painted Lady on D.Ninebark, 6-5-17

A Painted Lady adorns a Diablo Ninebark.

5321 Three pink echium towers, 5-22-17.JPG++++

Three pink echium spires made it through the winter.

Scabiosa

Scabiosa (Pin Cushion Flower) is ready to entertain bees and butterflies.

5698 First Gazania, 6-18-17

Mid June, the first Gazania, grown from seed, finally opens up.

5778 Oranges and blues, 6-23-17

Buttons and poppies.

5759 Sue's CA poppies, 6-23-17

More California Poppies

5625 Carmen poses, 6-13-17

Carmen poses on the comfortably warm metal table. (Might be time for a catnap)

5730 Sue plants 3rd set of cabbages, 6-18-17JPG

Sue plants 3rd set of cabbages.

5586 Mustard still flowering, Warré hive, 6-10-17

We let these mustard greens flower for the bees. They will come out in another week or so.

5456 Mulched potato vines today, 6-1-17

Potatoes are looking good.

5738 Solar oven, beans done, 6-18-17

A hot day calls for some solar baked beans. My favorite recipe is white beans with Fakin-Bakin Tempeh, and mustard greens.

Foxy Garden

I wasn’t surprised by the deer.  We had been bribing the deer with little gifts of spent pea vines and leafed out fruit tree suckers.  It was the ‘blur in the background’ that caught my attention.  It wasn’t the first time we had seen the fox.

4906BB Mr. Fox came calling, 4-7-17 copy

The first time we spotted Mr. Fox was back in April, when he was visiting the bird feeding area. The crows had been spilling the food onto the ground where they could get it easier. Mr. Fox could get it too…how often I wonder?

The fox was probably cleaning up the dropped plums.  My wife wonders if foxes can eat cats.  It looks big enough.

Speaking of deer…

19 Baby deer, spots, 8-8-17

August 8…A baby deer appeared for the first time this evening. My very observant wife says the mama deer trusted us enough to bring out her fawn. My wife had been observing the doe for a few days. When the doe came out yesterday, she kept looking back at something, staring at what, another deer? Possibly her fawn, making sure it stayed put.

11 The proud Mom, 8-8-17

The proud mama… I’m quite sure the deer can see us looking at them through the window. How do I know? There are times in the spring when there’s nothing out on the board. The deer will just STAND AND STARE.

5314 Lupines, 5-22-17.JPG++++

May 22, 2017…Lupines, planted from seed last year are bringing in the bees.

When I saw all the bees on the Lupines I got out the camera.  I noticed the bees would land on the bottom petals (referred to as ‘wings or sails,’).  They would separate and what looked like a spike (referred to as a ‘keel’) would rise up.  When the bee lifted off, the petals (wings) snapped shut over the keel.  I had to find out more, so I consulted with Darcy Grahek of “Go Native Nursery,” at Bandon High School.  Darcy said that the stigma (female parts) AND the anthers (male parts) are contained within the keel.

5436A Bee lifts off Lupine flower after pollination copy

May 30…Bee lifts off lupine blossom after rubbing it’s body on the ‘keel.’ Petals (or ‘wings’) will close over keel. Watching the video, you’ll see the stigma poking up through the tip of the keel after the bee lifts off.

 

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

By rubbing it’s body on the keel, the bee pollinates the flower when the anthers touch the stigma and the bee picks up pollen. For a more detailed explanation scroll to lupin in Sexual Reproduction in Plants, by Johny Thomas.

5522 Lupine "Keel", 6-10-17.JPG++++

The ‘keel’

5578A Lupine, inside the "Keel", 6-10-17.JPG++++ copy

I pulled off the outside petals (referred to as sails or wings) of the keel, revealing the pollination parts of the flower. The female part is the stigma (longer). The male parts are the anthers which can be seen atop the (shorter) filaments. When the bee rubs it’s abdomen against the keel, the pollen on the anthers comes in contact with the stigma and pollination occurs while the bee is rewarded with grains of pollen. Win-win.

The Bird’s Foot Trefoil uses a similar type of pollination.

biggerard-van-duinen-2010-foto-eddy-westveer-websize-l

Many thanks to Gerard van Duinen of La Tabù, for giving me permission to use his delightful composition, Hijo #1, in the video.

 

4295 Calliope Painting a sign, 4-29-17

April 29, 2017…Granddaughter Calliope helps to paint her Mom’s sign for the Climate Rally in Eugene, Oregon.  (In solidarity with People’s Climate March in DC and nationally.)

This is her protest sign, the one she made herself. I’m so proud of her. At four years of age, this is already her third protest.

5135 Every gallon you burn, 4-29-17

I don’t know if many people are aware of it, but when you burn a gallon of gas when driving, you are producing 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. If this bothers you as much as it does me, try having a car-free day each week. We started that about 10 years ago and actually got as high as 50% car-free days. That’s an average of 3 1/2 days each week using either a bicycle, walking, or staying at home. When I think about the planet that my generation will be giving to my kids and grandkids, I’m very ready to sacrifice a little to help their future out.

The following video was taken at the 350Eugene Climate Rally on the steps of The Federal Building in Eugene Oregon, April 29, 2017.

4999 Turnip cover crop blooming, 4-21-17 copy

April 21…The turnips are blooming.  Why is that important?  Because the bees are getting the pollen.  Pollen that is high in protein, with all the essential amino acids, and is highly digestible.  Last October, we planted the turnips as a cover crop and intended the blossoms to mature early in spring, but we didn’t realize that the pollen was so nourishing.  Apparently, the bees do well on it, so well it can lead to swarming.  I just hope I can capture the swarm.

5003 Bee pollinating turnip flowers, 4-21-17.JPG+++

Pollen sacs full. (A lucky shot with an iPhone)

5001 Turnip flower bee,.JPG++++

4966 Pat's Warre Hive, bees outside, 4-18-17.JPG

For several days (when it’s not raining) the bees have appeared on the front of the hive.  I think they’re waiting for a sunny day.  “Be patient, little critters, good weather is coming soon.”