Is it my imagination, or are the bumble bees in my back garden singing their "happy times" tunes? There are so many great options for pollen and nectar for the bumble bees right now as their families grow. As I was taking the bus along Nanaimo to Main Street I noticed many hollyhock plants standing upright near fences in glorious full bloom. My own hollyhocks have just begun to open: dark chocolatey single blooms with stamens loaded with straw-colored pollen. The mallow flowers in my yard (real hardy perennials) are all in bloom. I noticed the Spirea plants are flowering all over town. They have a lovely soft, fluffy texture and are one of my favorite bee-watching plants. One of my sunflowers has just opened and its lower petals have a dusting of excess pollen. The cornflowers are in bloom, along with Centaurea, Campanula, California poppies, and some Oriental poppies. My nasturtiums are producing their peppery flowers faster than we can eat them. I am starting to freeze the bounty of the raspberry bushes. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: the cherries are ripe!!!!!! Yahoo! I bought some lovely Montmorency sour cherries at the Burnaby Farmer's Market from Upper Bench Organics and I'm heading to UBC Farm on Saturday, July 28 for some more sour cherries from Jobst-Hof Orchard. That also happens to be the date of a bee-themed UBC Farm Market and yours truly will be appearing as HRH Queen Bee.
On a curious note, I am currently nursing a fledgling pigeon under our back porch. He still has some residual baby bird fluff and might have bunged up his leg falling out of the nest. So far, the neighborhood cat has decided not to mess with him. For the record, I am not a fan of pigeons per se, but this little guy has such an engaging personality I had to intervene and try to help him survive. Peter says we should make soup out of him. Ech.