Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bountiful bees, birds and bergamot #phenology

This Summer there has been an eruption of wildflowers along road sides and in fallow fields. Butterfly weed, horsemint and wild bergamot have joined the usual Summer suspects of mullein, black-eyed Susan, coreopsis and goldenrod in quantities neither the Better Half nor I remember seeing before this year. Has anyone else noticed eruptions of wildflowers in places where they may previously have been barely noticeable?

wild bergamot along gravel road
wild bergamot along gravel road
Photo by J. Harrington

The observations listed above were made and/or confirmed this morning as we took a scenic route to Coffee Talk in Taylors Falls for coffee on their outdoor patio. Near our table on the moss-covered bricks, a cluster of tall, magenta bergamot was visited by a variety of species of bees and one female ruby-throated hummingbird. I don't think I've ever seen as many sizes and kinds of bees in one place at the same time as we watched this morning over cappuccino and latte.

bergamot garden at Coffee Talk
bergamot garden at Coffee Talk
Photo by J. Harrington

Heading home, we tried, unsuccessfully, to avoid entanglement with the triathlon being run today over local roads. Back on our gravel roads, we noticed an increased number of swallows perched on the 'phone wires. More sumac leaves have turned bright red. Tomorrow's the last day of July. Enjoy the beauty of bergamot, bees and birds while they're bountiful. Six months from now our North Country will look and feel quite different.

Herb Garden

“And these, small, unobserved . . . " —Janet Lewis

The lizard, an exemplar of the small,
Spreads fine, adhesive digits to perform
Vertical push-ups on a sunny wall;
Bees grapple spikes of lavender, or swarm
The dill’s gold umbels and low clumps of thyme.
Bored with its trellis, a resourceful rose
Has found a nearby cedar tree to climb
And to festoon with floral furbelows.

Though the great, heat-stunned sunflower looks half-dead
The way it, shepherd’s crook-like, hangs its head,
The herbs maintain their modest self-command:
Their fragrances and colors warmly mix
While, quarrying between the pathway’s bricks,
Ants build minute volcanoes out of sand.


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