Saturday, September 1, 2012

Blackberries at UBC Farm

The best time to pick blackberries at UBC Farm is first thing in the morning when it opens at 9 am. The light is soft, and the birdsong is intense. As I was picking ripe berries a hummingbird swooped down and sipped nectar from some late blossoms. Then it zoomed up high to pick fights with the other males in the garden. Suddenly, a leave moved below my hand. Can you find the creature I saw in the photo above?

Here he is! A lovely green frog perfectly matched to the blackberry leaf. My friend Catherine said a tree frog once landed on her head when she was picking blackberries! Beware of falling frogs.

I paid for my berries and walked around the farm in preparation for a talk on pollinator plants at the Permaculture class.

 The amaranth is ready for fall bouquets.

This lacy beauty is Ammi visnaga, a flower which seems really trendy this year. Martha must have endorsed it, or some other celebrity spokesperson for flowers.

Here's a little home with hollow sticks for native bees.

Here's a sweet mason bee condo.

 I love the color combination of these electric purple sweet peas against the sunflowers.

 There's a botany student on the farm doing sunflower research. Hey, wouldn't that be a great name for a band? Sunflower Research. I like it.

As you can see, she's bagging the flowers to prevent bees from cross pollinating the flowers. This is how people save seeds for specific varieties. I've seen some interesting volunteer sunflowers that were a cross between a "Teddy Bear" and a "Joker".

 I always like to know where to put my rock.

So what happens when the bee sees her shadow?

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