Why this sweat bee and I hate your mosquito contract

Carolina rose and sweat bee
Rosa carolina and friend

When I was a kid, sweat bees were the enemy. Now we are.

This little sweat bee is gathering pollen from a native Carolina rose.
See the yellow grains stuck to the hairs on her legs?
She’s likely gathering provisions for eggs laid in a teensy underground tunnel. Continue reading “Why this sweat bee and I hate your mosquito contract”

Advertisements

Look Around (England)

Elderberry at Heathrow (and nearly everywhere else)

For a couple of weeks, I’ll be looking around not nearby in Nashville, but in England: Dartmoor National Park, mostly, plus a few other places on our way to and from. We are lucky to be here.  Continue reading “Look Around (England)”

Nashville’s Mustard

There are swaths of yellow right now in Elmington Park: small yellow blooms massed in the lawn. I hope the city doesn’t mow soon, because the yellow is Nashville mustard—our mustard—and it needs to go to seed and spread. I saw it on the way to Hebrew School, and as soon as I could, I went back and parked the car in the lot, then parked my body flat on the grass.

Continue reading “Nashville’s Mustard”

John and Hester Lane Cedar Glade (6/25/16)

Yesterday’s Division of Natural Areas hike was at a glade new to me: John and Hester Lane Cedar Glade. Look what happens to a cedar thicket after a managed burn:

prairie coneflower meadow

I’ve never seen so many prairie coneflower (Ratibida pinnata) in one place.
How long had those seeds slept in shade till freed by fire? Continue reading “John and Hester Lane Cedar Glade (6/25/16)”

Driveway-Crack Flowers: Venus’s Looking Glass

Before it’s gone, here’s another volunteer in the cracks of our driveway: Venus’s looking glass, Triodanis perfoliata. It’s in the bellflower family, and if it were a bell, it would tinkle rather than peal because the flowers are about the size of a fingernail (a fingernail that gardens and plays with Lego). And, it’s native. Continue reading “Driveway-Crack Flowers: Venus’s Looking Glass”