Busy as a little bee

Sheesh. It was one of those weeks. I would’ve needed a whole hive of mees to cover all my bases in the last few days. Just know that we have posts in the works, including some honeys, so do stay tuned! Till then, this worker bee will get Bzzzzzzzzzzy…

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Wordless wonders for the beezy season

A post-Christmas celebration of some of Nature’s busiest creatures, bees and bumblebees (and wasps) in the great big Apidae family. Let’s recognize how essential pollinators like bees are to our planet. Please join me in a wish that human bee-ings do everything in our power to serve and protect them in 2018 and beyond. Click any image for the full-size slideshow.

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More bee hotels for your collection

Wherever I travel, my eyes are sharply on the lookout for housing. Housing for birds and bees and butterflies, that is. This summer, my little eye spied this big bee and, perhaps, butterfly condo in the Smithsonian Gardens in Washington, D.C.. With all those living options, it would be the perfect home for all kinds of solitary, […]

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2017 was a great year for Hydrangeas

In 2017, we’ve had rain, we’ve had rain, we’ve had more rain. It’s raining now! My annuals are slow to bloom, probably due to lack of sunshine. But one thing for sure seems to be doing well around Toronto. Hydrangeas! The smooth hydrangea or Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ in my dry-shade front garden (above) is mammoth! Lots of rain and […]

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On ants, aphids and mutualism

[Update: Thrilled to announce that this post won Gold for Best Digital Writing at the 2018 GWA Media Awards from the Association for Garden Communicators. It was an unexpected honour, especially since the competition was very worthy.] I’d wanted to tell you a cool thing about ants and aphids. These are Norway maple aphids (Periphyllus lyropictus), one of 4,000+ aphid species. (Who […]

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Up close and personal with pollen

An almost-wordless Wednesday post from my photo archives – in the days when I could shoot these things freehand, simply by breathing out and holding my breath. My hands aren’t quite as steady without a tripod today. Blame the heavy lens. No idea what the bee species is, but it was really getting into the […]

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Bee hotels for your wish list

My adventures in urban wild bee hospitality have appeared on the blog before. Right now, other than some passive carpenter bee action on our shed, I’m out of the bee hotel business. But I’d like to get back into it. Over my garden travels, I’ve been collecting bee hotel pictures for inspiration. Hoping these inspire you, […]

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Today, we need smiling bugs

These colourful bugs have long been replaced by huge mural on the railway underpass on the south end of Monarch Park in Toronto’s east end. As much as I’m in love with the replacement (and do intend to write about it one day), I’m also glad I preserved these smiling faces for a day like today. It’s election night 2016 in the […]

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Almost-wordless ex-aster appreciation

New-world asters aren’t Aster anymore. They are, among other things, Symphyotrichum as in Symphyotrichum novae-angliae or New England aster. Because these new-ish names are a bit of a mouthful, I prefer the term used (and perhaps created) by my friend Gail of Clay and Limestone: Ex-asters. It’s for Gail’s Wildflower Wednesday that I post this almost-wordless […]

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