Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I went to the lily pad pond today to check out our new mosquito wear. It’s clothing impregnated with permethrin that’s supposed to keep the skeeters away. If the tag can be believed, the chemical coating should last through 70 washings. I have a hat and short-sleeved shirt and Jack has a jaunty scarf. The only place that Jack gets bitten is his face and ears because even in summer he has a thick coat of fur, so I thought a scarf would be all he needs.

The trail around the pond is always buggy and we normally avoid it in the warm weather, but the best place to test mosquito wear is where the mosquitoes are so off we went in the name of science. We certainly chose the right place – there were lots and lots and lots of mosquitoes and, considering the conditions, the clothing performed well. I came away with about a dozen bites on my hands, so a long-sleeved shirt would have been a better choice, but I had no bites on my face or neck and only one or two near my elbows. I always wear long pants and socks because of ticks so I had no bites on my legs. Jack fared about as well with one or two nose bites and two bites on an ear near the scarf, which surprised me. I’ll certainly use the clothing when we trail walk over the summer and we’ll even come back to the pond, but next time I’ll use a bit of something else to protect my hands and maybe a dab on the big boy’s ears. Jack really loves the pond because he can chase frogs and get muddy. You know, the good stuff in life.

Purple Iris

Mondays are always better with flowers and Avalus has sent us some gorgeous Iris to help us start the week.

There was a beautiful patch of irises that attracted many visitors.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

Like this bumblebee,  just caught while taking off…

©Avalus, all rights reserved

And this leaf bug.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

 

The Art of Book Design: The Romance of Insect Life

The Romance of Insect Life, by Edmund Selous, with B&W illustrations by Lancelot Speed and Carton Moore-Park throughout. Natural history stories from the insect world, published by Seeley & Co, London, 1907

I’m confused by the bird on the cover. Is it a gift of love or an object of love?

 

via: The Reader’s Desire

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

I’ve been waiting weeks for the first and only flower on my new purple peony bush to open. It sat there for the longest time just being a big, plump bud that didn’t change and I’ve been getting impatient. Well, finally, yesterday it started to unfurl and by late afternoon its petals were getting ready to spread themselves open to the sun. I was getting excited… and then the wind started to blow. And then the rain came and then my beautiful purple peony blew open and apart. Well, damn. At least the bees don’t mind. They’ve been busily gathering pollen all day so it hasn’t been a total loss.

©voyager, all rights reserved

May Light

It’s that wonderful time of month when Nightjar shares her photo essay about the conditions of light.

I confess that I haven’t been as inspired lately, and that’s in part because light is becoming too bright and harsh for my taste already. I find autumn’s golden light and winter’s low and cool light so much more interesting to work with. But May is the month of flowers and bugs, and you can never go wrong with a random assortment of flowers and bugs under May sunlight, right?

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

[Read more…]

The Art of Book Design: A Book about Bees

Jenyns, Charles Fitzgerald Gambier. A book about bees. Their history, habits, and instincts; together with the first principles of modern beekeeping for young readers.
London, W. Gardner, Darton, & co., 1886.

I thought this book was a nice complement to Nightjar’s Bee Orchids of earlier today.

 

via: The Internet Archive

Close Encounters of the tiny kind

During lunch break walk at work, I have encountered this little fellow. He flew by and sat on the macadam right next to me – a very conspicuous bright green jewel on the grey dull road. It was really tiny – about the size of a thumbnail. And of course I did not have my camera and macro lenses on me, so you have to do with this rather poor pictures made with my phone.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Tiny Spiders

It’s been a while since we’ve had a spider posting, but Nightjar has brought us some dandy shots to make sure we stay current.

Tiny spiders seem to be about as busy as I am this spring, the few times I’ve gone out with the camera I’ve come across one or two doing spidery things. Here’s a selection from the past few weeks!

Photos are below the fold. [Read more…]

April Light

The light in springtime is beautiful and Nightjar has taken some absolutely stunning photos to show it off.

The garden is full of Iris flowers this time of the year and I love the way Iris petals reflect light, so that’s what ended up inspiring me this month. I also couldn’t resist a shiny green garden visitor and a backlit ice plant.

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

[Read more…]

Monday Mercurial: Bee happy!

Apparently, one side of our garden has been overtaken by common sand bees/ mining bees, andrena flavipes.

I noticed a lot of activity last week and right now it’s all buzz and swarming. I was at first confused since wild bees are usually solitary and it took me all of my google -fu to find out that the most likely explanation is that it’s a nesting aggregation and the huge traffic we’re seeing right now is the drones hanging around to have a lot of sex before they die, so in a few days the whole thing will be over.

This is a relief because in about two weeks the workpeople will start rebuilding our garden stairs and stuff and I was worried that the bees would get in their way or would have their home destroyed. As far as I’m concerned, having those bees here is like a knighting for my garden as an insect friendly space.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

At work!

©Giliell, all rights reserved

A different kind of wild bee.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

That fruit tree is currently BUZZING.

©Giliell, all rights reserved