Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cypress Community Garden Pollinators

Madame Beespeaker had a marvelous day off today doing some of her favorite things: eating lunch at Aphrodite's Organic Delights, touring gardens and thrift shopping. Yes! These lovely bees are enjoying the vanilla scented Joe Pye Weed in the Cypress Community Garden. Note the odd morphology of these blossoms. I am not seeing much pollen here. I like capturing more than one bee on a plant. Bees seem to like to have space around them when they forage, much like me at the supermarket checkout. If someone gets in my personal bubble, I need to take a deep breath and  try to shift to  get away from the tailgater. The other day it was hot, I had a migraine and I snapped: "Could you please give me some space?"  I mean the woman was acting like I wasn't there and it was really bugging me.

I see bees bump one another out of their personal bubble, even bees of their own ilk. The larger bees often win, but not always. Sometimes the plant is so delectable that they tolerate the nearness of other bees. Kind of like me, when I'm tucking in to Aphrodite's delectable vegan cheesecake. I am very focused. Everything else in my range of vision melts away as I immerse myself in the cheesecake and nothing but the cheesecake and my iced chai. Does Joe Pye weed taste like vanilla cheesecake to a bee?

It was overcast today and I saw a few yellow leaves fall here and there. At first I would think it was a butterfly, but my heart sank as I saw it was a yellow leaf or two fluttering to the shadows on the ground.  I have had migraines the last two days with the humidity and heat, so today was a welcome relief. I can see into the future on days like this, and I spent the day imagining dresses inspired by bee and hummingbird plants. I was quickly brought to earth by the Chinese Canadian lady who owns the second hand store where I was perusing dresses. "That will never fit you," she said bluntly, "Maybe a friend, but not you, lady." Thump. Sound of a dreamer's dreams hitting the floor.

Can't you imagine a gown inspired by brown-eyed Susans and sneezeweed?

These gardens along the railway tracks are fascinating. Bordered by a hedgerow of blackberry they form pollinator corridors in our city. Linked up with gardens on bike lanes, they would form a strong network of passages for birds and insects. Wouldn't it be wonderful to turn all the disused rail lines into pollinator corridors across Canada? Told you I was in a dreamin' mood.

By the time I saw this skipper sipping nectar from a cosmos I was ready to head to Beaucoup Bakery for an iced tea. There should be tea rooms at regular intervals along the national pollinator pathways. Make mine jasmine green tea with a hint of rose and a fat brioche stuffed with hazelnut cream.

As I saw a honeybee attempt to sip nectar from one of these hardy fuschias it occurred to me that this plant is almost like a bee plant wearing a humming bird plant--purple underskirt for the bee, and red cape for the hummers, but those long stamens are definitely bird-sized. I wonder if these get robbed for nectar or if the double structure prevents that from happening. Watch your fuschias and tell me what you see!

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