Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Bees Are Busy

Yes, the bees are in full buzz with all the flowers and trees in bloom.  Pollen may not always be our friend but the bees love it.  Here's a recent photo captured on a hike in the Wasatch Mountains.
Check out the pollen on his head.

 It is amazing to listen to a team of bees as they find food.  Last weekend, we came upon a large group of spruce that were filled with all types of bees enjoying this treat.  Just amazing!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Signs of Spring

 One of my favorite signs of spring is the lilac.  The bright light purple blossom announces that snow, cold, and darkness are gone.  This delicate flower offers a sweet and happy smell to the warm breezes that infiltrate the daylight hours. 

Five years ago I planted a small bush.  Every year I fertilized it and this year it was beautiful - full of flowers that overtook the moderately green leaves.  As the flowers fade to brown, bright colored orioles are using the bush for a home.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Winter - Memories of Summer

We are enjoying a wet winter.  Many snowy commutes and lots of snow removal to guarantee mail delivery.  Today we ventured to the mountains for snowshoeing.  It is a quiet adventure with reminders of spring, summer, and fall.  This flower was part of the summer landscape.  But winter has some remains of its seeds and skeleton.

As we traveled through the snow, we saw birds nest filled with snow, tracks from animals, and other sites like the bench on Green Trail.  Snowshoeing in the winter weather is refreshing  but I look forward to spring, flowers, and warmer weather.

In case you have no snow, here's my favorite bench waiting for spring.  ENJOY!  (You can check it out without snow on my Sunday, January 11, 2015 post.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The First Spotting For This Year

Every weekend as we troop through the forest, we keep our eyes open for a bee's nest.  The first spotting is usually in late fall after the leaves have dropped to produce many shades of grey.  Last weekend we were very fortunate to find the first one for this year with many leaves still in place.
Bee-made paper nest.

This one was about 12 inches in diameter and 12 inches tall.  A very good size.  Even though we watched it for about 10 minutes, we did not see any activity. Also, it was about 20 feet off the ground.  Folklore would tell us that the snow will be deep when the beehive is high.  In 3 to 4 months, we will see if this follows.

Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

The western U.S. is experiencing a violent and dangerous forest fire season.  Currently, the biggest fires line the coast from California to Washington.  Add to this a weather pattern that is changing the wind directions to move the smoke from these fires towards the Wasatch and Rockie Mountain areas.  For the last 10 days, areas in northern Utah have experienced this smoke.  The impact is very similar to winter inversions.  It becomes hard to breathe, eyes water and sting, and your throat can be sore.  The joy of being outside is limited.  I noticed that my photos are impacted, too. 
Elderberries ripening in the mountains.
These orange berries lack their common vibrancy.
These images were taken last week.  As I compared them to other years that I snapped similar photos, I found the color dull.  As I write this post, I know that I am lucky that I am only experiencing the smoke from a distance.  Many people, animals, bees, and plants are much closer, some with little hope for survive.  I will think positive thoughts for all of them.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer - A Busy Time For Bees

Thistle in Wasatch Mountains
Color Attracts Bees to Flowers in Maine Garden         
Summer is a great time to observe bees at work.  These 2 images spotlight bees gathering pollen from wild plants in the forest and perennials in a home garden.  In both cases, color is one element that attracts the bees.

Friday, April 10, 2015

April Has Arrived

Winter in the Wasatch Mountains was a non-event this year.  There was enough snow for the ski resorts to open but we did not have one opportunity to snowshoe. To the south, Arizona experienced a winter of sun and moderate temperatures as well as enough rain to bring color to the desert in April.  A quick glance to the Eastern U.S. tells a very different story.  Snow, freezing weather, and strong wind made for a challenging and long winter.

April and Spring are emerging with color from fruit trees and daffodils.  The days are getting longer and the daily temperatures are warming.  A couple of geese have filled their nest with eggs by the base pond as mud turtles fight for space on the warm shoreline.  We all welcome the return of familiar sites that tell us that winter has passed.

This first wild flowers of 2015