Friday, July 22, 2016

Eco-Wineries Can Be Good for Bees

The day after the storm was bright and sunny. We drove to Summergate, which is a family-owned organic winery.

I like to support organic wineries, especially when they plant flowers for bees and make an effort to leave some weeds to blossom for them. I'm not sure what this dandelion-ish plant is, but it was full of different species of pollinators.

Composition wise, this is one of my favorite photos of the trip to the Okanagan. I love the dynamic clouds in that impossibly blue sky and the way that bumblebee is just hugging that pollen-laden flower. The fence acts like a kind of musical score, and the flowers are like the notes dancing across the page. Weeds can be beautiful when they are brought to life with the magical presence of bees.

This melissodes bee reminds me of a tiny blue-eyed cowboy with outrageously oversized chaps. Pistils at dawn, pardner.

But first, a drink at the nectar saloon.

And another . . . .

It's also lovely to see chickens and a veggie patch at a working winery.

There's quite a bit of alfalfa blooming around the Okanagan for honeybees, but it's just about the end of the bloom season for them as they madly prepare for winter. They would benefit from large swathes of fireweed, asters and goldenrod. Before heading south, we bought some lovely Kerner and Gewurtz to help bring some Okanagan memories home with us.

Just before Oliver, we had lunch at a cafe in a church. I was impressed by this cactus displaying its muscles. Wouldn't it be amazing in bloom!

Covert farms produces veggies and wine, with owners who are environmental stewards. Jasna and I spent a long time swooning over the wildflower meadow the gardener has planted near the tasting lounge.

More wineries should plant meadows like this. They are like living artworks.

This milkweed was in bloom in the meadow and all around the southern Okanagan.

And when you see cuckoo bees, you know it's a healthy sign of insect biodiversity.

The meadow was full of little surprises. We were thrilled to see some rocky mountain bee plant here.

Jasna bought some of their lovely fruit to take home. Young couples were taking advantage of the U-pick prices.

And we took one more peek at the goldenrod to check out the multitude of insects it was attracting. I bought a bottle of their beautiful blush wine to take home. Wish I could have bought a case!

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