What Do These Bees Know?

Well, we didn’t get our first frost the other night, but we will most certainly see one this Thursday night–if not a freeze.

When I went outside to do my chores today, I couldn’t help but notice the mason bees were everywhere.  They were on every flower, sometimes more than one to a flower, having a big knockdown drag-out trying to get the last bits of pollen and nectar before the flowers are all gone.  I’ve never seen so many mason bees before!

 

What do these mason bees know that we don’t know?

There were four fighting over this dahlia.  (I did get to enjoy a few more, by the way!)

And four more on this one!  The little bee at the bottom didn’t stand a chance against these big guys.

 

Here’s a moth trying to get in on the action…

There were hundreds of them on my morning glories.

Even in the withered ones!

I have always had flowers wherever I lived, but I have only been a serious gardener for about 7 or 8 years now.  Never have I seen them like this.

According to the mason bees, I’d say we’re in for another long winter.

Which reminds me, I need to take the honey bees some more sugar-water tomorrow.  My buckwheat is finally ready to bloom, but it will not make it after tomorrow’s frost.  The bees did not get the benefit of it, which really bums me out.  I should have either planted it a couple of weeks earlier or perhaps if I had watered it well during this recent dry spell it would have made it in time.

Well, the hornet’s nests say we’ll have a big, snowy winter.

And the wooly bear caterpillars say we’ll have a never-ending winter.  Ha.  (You really can’t trust the wooly bears.  They like to play practical jokes.)

In addition to the asian lady beetles swarming against the south-side of my house on these recent warm afternoons, there have also been dozens of dang-blasted wasps trying to get inside.  I am allergic to wasps and don’t want to share my living quarters with them this winter.

The spiders have also been bad.  We sprayed for them this year and I have still seen a few in the basement.  Normally we don’t like to spray because of the young’n and the doggies, but after my daughter found a giant wolf spider in her bathtub and nearly clobbered herself trying to get out of there in a big, wet, slippery hurry, we decided it was probably a good idea.

So, if the old wives tales have it right, we will have another hard winter this year.  Last year was one of the snowiest winters we’ve had here in West Virginia that I can recall since I was a kid.

What ill portents have you noticed this fall?  Do you think we’re in for it?  Either way, I’m stocking up!

A Very Blustery Day

What strange weather we’ve had today.  I went over to visit my neighbor for a bit and we heard on the Weather Channel that nearly the entire East Coast was under severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado watches until 9pm tonight (it’s 7pm as I post this.)  It was a record-breaking day for low pressure systems since 1968 if I remember correctly what I heard on tv.

The wind was blowing so much I thought I’d better hurry outside and get some shots of our fall color before all the leaves were blown off the trees.  Between the wind and heavy rains, there won’t be much left by tomorrow.

This is the big dogwood tree in my backyard. 

And the view over to the ridge beyond ours.  The golden tops of the poplars are really pretty this year.

I spotted this big hornet’s nest over the fenceline on my neighbor’s property.  We were really plagued by large bald-faced hornets this year.  I couldn’t leave any apples or tomatoes sitting outside.

They say if the hornet’s nests are high up in the trees, we will have lots of snow this year.  Let’s hope not, because this one was way up there!

The wind was blowing so hard, Little Boy Blue’s wattles were blowing sideways!  He was a bit irritable today with all the wind blowing his tail feathers the wrong way everytime he turned around.  He was very nervous and paced a lot.

Down the fence line in the brushy corner of the yard, I found the chickens working on a new dusting hole.  I’m going to have to come back and fill this one with rocks so they do not create a back door for predators to come inside.

The neighbor’s horses came over to say hello.  I gave them a lot of apples last month, so they are usually happy to see me now.

This is the view back toward the main road.  The bees were very busy today with the temps hitting 83 degrees.  Once the rain came through it quickly dropped to 60 degrees.

You can see the storm clouds approaching from the Southwest.  It wasn’t long after we quit snapping pictures that the rain and gusty winds came through.  It is still raining pretty hard right now.

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