Photo Friday: looking for weeds in all the wrong places

For the past two years I have been searching for wild plants to put in my garden.   They are weeds to the locals, and are often bushhogged or just simply tilled under.  Yet I find them attractive and have scouted for accessible sources to bring them home to my gardens…

The tornado storms of April 11, brought some of them to me, but I continued to look for one.  Goldenrod!  I think it is the most beautiful thing to see in fall, and so do my bees!  They drink its nectar to make stinky (think dirty rotten socks) smelling honey, and bring home it’s pollen to feast on over the winter.

So imagine my surprise when my chicken yard exploded in great yellow, plumes of the stuff!

In the photo below you will see several “WEEDS”  That my neighbors would surely not appreciate if growing in their yards.

However we,

the chickens,

wild bees,

my bees,

and butterflies do.   And, for all our sake, I certainly do.

And then there is the Eupatorium capillifolium…

The common name is Dog fennel, and it is sold as a background foliage plant in Europe under the name of Elegant Feather

I am sorry, but mine is anything but elegant at the moment.  All spring and summer it is upright and a lovely green, looking quite a bit like asparagus, or culinary fennel.

Usually, by this time of the year it has been cut back down to the ground.  This year things got in the way, and feel I let it get out of hand.  Or did I?

For the past week I have been in search of the lovely perfume in the chicken yard, which is never a place to be confused with “lovely perfume.”  This morning the scent was unmistakably coming from here.  Then I noticed the hum, and realized it was a bee magnet!

Buddy was busy sniffing at something in the bush, and found that out the hard way.  Poor Buddy.

Here is a closeup of the Dog Fennel blooms,

and others!


Hm, I have forgotten her name. 

Do you know it?

UPDATE:  Thanks to my Facebook friend Jodi, I was able to locate and identify my ‘salvia’ as Scarlet Sage.  You can find out more about this beautiful flower HERE.     Thank you Jodi!

Photo Friday: Bees!

The Maples Hum a Song of Spring


On this day I was sitting at the kitchen table and happened to look out the window. That was when I noticed the tree was a flutter with little winged objects.  I stepped up to the window for a closer look and saw that it was full of bees!  Grabbing my camera I went out for a look .  We have lived here for three years and I’d never seen anything but birds in my maples trees.

On this day there was a symphony and the orchestra was supplied from my hive.

Let the thawing begin

Today the sun came out and melted quite a bit of the snow.  This made everyone happy.  Especially me!  Even the chickens were no longer afraid to walk in it.

The bees came out for recon and some house keeping duties.  Considering the temperatures we’ve been experiencing I thought their losses were minimal.

The geese, now able to come back to their own stomping grounds, found buried treasure beneath the snow.

I was surprised to see that left over collard greens,  abandoned the day it began snowing, looked perfectly delectable.  The geese sure didn’t pass them up!

Though not entirely melted the snow was thinning quickly.  We needed to lay down straw to keep the mud from sticking to everyone’s feet and thereby keep it out of the house.

It felt good to be outside working!

What did you do this weekend?

Oh Baby its Hot Outside

Its been so hot that the bees are spending much of their time hanging around on the outside of the hive.  Especially at night.  Even though the temperature drops down into the 70’s they will still be found bearding on the front of the hive.  The sound of thousands of little wings fanning away the heat is mesmerizing and will go on for hours after the sun sets.

1:30 PM:  They were very busy flying to and fro, in and out of the hive all day today.  Their mission in life, in spite of the heat, is to find nectar and keep the hive going and growing.

10:30 PM:   It is amazing to see everyone sitting on the front stoop and fanning to draw off the heat.  I switch off the light.   I love standing there in the dark to listen to the hum of all those little wings.

And tomorrow they will go out and do it all over again.