Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Two bees for Martina and Julia

 The above picture is the Mason bee nest I referred to in the bee post. Pretty interesting critters. They are solitary. When they find a hole that suits them they go in and lay an egg. Then they fill the little room with pollen and nectar. Then they put up a wall of bee concrete and lay another egg, until the tube is full. They are crafty enough to lay all female eggs until the last chamber, where they lay a male egg. The male hatches, eats his lunch and chews his way out. Then he hangs around until females start to hatch and mates. Because there are a lot of females from different tubes hatching at the same time, and a lot of males flying around, inbreeding doesn't seem to be a problem. They are tireless pollinators and do not sting. Before European honeybees were introduced they were one of the alpha pollinators in North America.

This is what the Carpenter  (Xylocopa Viginica) bees are doing to our dock. They are very big, like a bumblebee, with much less hair. They build a nest by chewing into unpainted wood and dead branches. The males vigorously defend the nests by hovering near them. Mainly to chase off other insects as they have no sting. They have a yellow dot in the middle of their forehead. When I walk out on our dock, in the warm months, there will be one or two males the get right at eye level and hover. If you call their bluff, they fly off. Luckily, they are another tireless pollinator, so we pretty much leave them alone.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Monstera, garden

Big,Bag,Bed Garden.

This is my newest raised bed. It is basically a bed made of heavy duty landscape cloth. It holds about 5 bags of raised bed soil. I have just put in bunching onions, annual Dahlias, chili peppers and I buried 12 gladiolus bulbs here and there. The little tomatoes are destined for a different container.

Monday, March 12, 2018


 Just to give you folks in the frozen north and Europe some hope, Spring has come to North Florida. The azaleas are putting on one of their best displays ever. All of these were taken in our garden in the last week. The road is our driveway.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Not far from the hydrant, the cone was having a party of it's own...For Martina

Box of rocks, MSD

There is an expression here in the US, and probably in other english speaking countries, "Dumber than a box of rocks." Howard Stern has a quiz show on his radio show where he questions stupid people about obvious well known facts and they giggle and answer wrong. Our late night talk/chat shows have a ball during election years asking the average man in the street important topical questions, which they invariably get wrong. I saw British shows do it before Brexit.

So, finding this box of rocks by the side of the road, I put the expression to the test. It got three out of ten topical questions right. So the expression is correct. I almost removed the three correct answers when the box revealed that it voted for Trump.

Now I am off to find a bag of hammers.

Two kids playing in a cold Atlantic, February 19, 2018 75F/23.0C

Monday, February 19, 2018

Huffy, Jax Beach

There is something in the way the cheap little plastic lens in the Holgas renders color that I just love. This is proof the you should always have your camera ready when you exit your car.