Monday, April 6, 2009

They're Back! Mason Bees are out to Play

Yesterday the temperature really soared and the male mason bees came out to play. I kept seeing them land on the sunny south side of our house. This event seems to correspond with the forsythia being fully in bloom, which could be a phenological correlation. Did you know that one is supposed to prune one's roses when the forsythia is in bloom?

I was hardening off some seedlings yesterday and when I picked up one of my pots to take back inside I found a mason bee having a nap. I apologized for disturbing him and let him crawl up onto my hand to have a closer look at his white powdery face. It looked as though he'd stuck his face in baking flour.

These mason bee homes were a gift to me and I love the way they are designed so you can take them apart to clean them. The males keep peeking their heads into the holes as if to say, "Yoo Hoo! It's warm out here, so come out and join us...."

The rhubarb is poking rudely through the soil, proclaiming it is indeed the season of the botany of desire. The yellow jacket wasps have also hatched and so a darker side of spring commences: predation to feed the young. As I was doing my morning exercises a small hawk landed a few feet away from me in my lilac tree, then did a low dive through the neighbor's yard. We have a lot of starlings in our hood which are experts at mimicking other birds. I kept hearing a red tailed hawk over and over, thinking it was a juvenile delinquent starling getting a kick out of scaring the bush tits. I didn't get a close look at the hawk that visited today. Maybe it was the real thing.

The outside temperature is currently 21 degrees Celsius. Hopefully it will hold for the UBC Farm trek tomorrow.

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