Honeybee Contortions and Other Garden Delights

A more usual body positioning upon entering the flower...

...turns to some contortioning to get into the flower.

The other day at work I witnessed Honeybees contorting themselves to get the nectar of an abundantly blooming American Yellowwood Tree (Cladrastis kentukea) and I wanted to share it with you as I had never seen them bend their abdomens up; it appears "backwards" to what one usually sees with bees.  This is not a behavior seen in the hive (that I have seen in the hive - or garden before).

Humming with Life.

Note the stamens tickling its belly, releasing pollen (which can be seen best in the leg baskets of the first picture).

....and while we are at it, I will share with you a lovely short video of the paradise that is my home garden...

This Carpenter Bee plays the main character with various birds and my cat Wren covering the soundtrack.  ;)

...Wren insisted that I include her picture too (she is the one talking up a storm in the video)...


Dandelion Fritters

Check out the size of this Dandelion leaf! It measured 20"!

Want an easy to make, easy to forage, and always enjoyed wild food?

Hard to go wrong with Dandelion Fritters!

First, collect the heads including the calyx, but not the stem.

Next, dip them in whipped egg (never use factory raised eggs, arg),

Then coat them in a mixture of your choice...
You can use different flours and spices,
making them savory or sweet.
Here I used cornmeal, nutritional yeast and garlic powder.
You could go to the other end of the spectrum 
with Cinnamon Sugar in Pastry flour for instance...

Finally fry them in a good fat that withstands heating, 
like Coconut oil, Ghee, Sesame oil, Walnut oil...

Allow to cool and you have yourself a delicious treat.
There won't be any leftovers.


Ah, Springtime: Edible Wild Foods, Flowers, and Honeybees... a Photo Journal and Videos

Well, Hello There!  Little Guy!  Jumping Spider on Peony - a Rapture unto itself.

Ah, the Green has come and done its overnight coloring of the world around me.  Spring is such a glorious, lush time with everyone, two-legged and otherwise, coming to life (even if it seems we do go from winter right into summer now in Virginia).  We get more daylight and our blood flows in our veins the way the sap rises in the trees.  We are more active as the days grow longer, waking from our slumber...

Here are some pictures from my past two weeks of basking in the green I toil for...

Home-made Prayer Flag made with fabric scraps,
blowing prayers for creativity, community, and joy on the wind to you.

Lots of plants are showing up each day as their season comes (and goes).  Wild edibles are available every day now and I try to incorporate them into my diet often.  I feel freshly picked food is the most nutritious you can get (whether from your organic garden, the farmer's market or the wild).  Wild food especially gives you nutrients often not found, or not found in similar quantities, to cultivated food, particularly grocery store food since it's usually not that fresh.  Grow your own!

Ramp and Japanese Knotweed tops saute.
Washing Plantain to add to a salad.

Learn to identify the common wild edibles and glory in the fact that they grow in your yard, woodland, or borderland without any effort on your part.

You don't even have to make a fancy meal or recipe with them.  Here I have topped some store bought, "healthy version" frozen pizzas with some wild edibles:  Sarsaparilla tip in top photo and Dandelion greens on the pizza at bottom.

For an added delight, learn which flowers are abundant and edible and harvest them if there are plenty enough that you can harvest and still leave lots for the bees.

In spring there are many such as Redbud, Locust, Wisteria, Violets, ...

Wisteria flowers scenting the air and delighting the pathwalker.
New hive, Balsamic, on the left, and Monkey on the right, ready for a split, swarming, and honey removal.

Salad of Wisteria flowers, Violet leaves and flowers, and Wild Onion leaves.

Chomsky says "Meowhello!"

Whoa.  To be a bee...  Iris at the peak of the wave, its Yang time.

Iris closed, riding the wave into the trough, its Yin time.

Time for seeding...Echinacea and Black Eyed Susans - for the Butterflies - seed bombs!

L'Atelier, the art studio, nestled at the woodland's edge
flanked by a Butterfly/Hummingbird garden beginning its season of bloom.

Erg.  What ones hands look like after manually disposing of Mealybugs on the Apple Espalier in the above picture.

Mathieu napping in the back yard after a day of landscaping.  Something this Wood Element gal needs to learn to do...

"Our calling is where the world's hunger and our deepest gladness meet." - Fredrick Buechner

Lorax, quiet for the evening in its surround of Maple-leaved Viburnum.

"Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose. 
Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently, 
until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and you recognize and greet it. 
Only then will you know how to give yourself to this world so worth of rescue" - Martha Postlewaite

On the winds to you!