Beau September 18th, 2010
I have to ask. Does September seem like a really busy month to everybody? For some reason I seem to be running around in circles trying to catch up with myself. Classes and elbows trying to get things done, if you know what I mean :) I can hardly contain myself with all the things I’d like to do. Ah, like writing a little more. This has been a slow year for the written word, perhaps a year of change. I’ll get there, and my friends I hope you’ll go with me… this is the start of such a beautiful season!
I see change all around, and feel the pace of insects and birds hurrying a bit more, gathering all they can before the fall begins. Another season of color…
A few days ago I was enjoying watching a few of these Yellow-collared Scape Moths (Cisseps fulvicollis) flying around the goldenrod and this white flower in the Aster family. The moths were very slow flying, almost like helicopters, and the wings opened up wide just before take-off.
I finally remembered the plant is called White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) and is tremendously abundant at this time of year, along with the goldenrod, which is great for the bees and other pollinators. So far I’m excited about the season in terms of pollen and nectar for the bees. We’ve had a few rains, but mostly warm sunny days for the bees to forage, which means a nice fall nectarflow so they can really work to strengthen their hives.
Last year we had so much rain in autumn that I couldn’t feed the bees enough to carry them through winter. But now, things are looking up!
In the picture below a bee is carrying a white colored pollen into the hive (and another one along the bottom-left corner of the picture). I thought it might have been from the snakeroot flower, but I didn’t see a single bee gathering pollen from that plant- it may only have been something from which they gathered nectar.
Later I realized with a Doh! that the bees were getting the white-colored pollen from our very white Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora), which is growing all over the shed next to the chicken coop.
Sweet autumn clematis is very easy to grow and has an amazing fragrance with a profusion of white flowers. I watched the bees fill their tiny pollen baskets with white pollen and fly right back to the hive a hundred yards away. Each year when the clematis is finished flowering, I cut it back within just a few feet from the ground. All that growth is just one season! And I even cut it back a little in July to try and train it around the top of the shed… alas it has a vigorous, wild nature! It’s covering one window and half the door…
This year I plan to cut it back a little earlier so that I can paint the older shed to match the chicken coop, and fix the rickety old door. I need to repair and paint our brown garden fence as well. Some of the cross bars have rotted where they join the posts. Maybe I can salvage it for a few years more with a little stain/paint and not too much expense?
Sometimes it seems as if everything needs fixed! Well a lot of them do… and it’s time to get that weedeater out again and really take some of the brush and weeds down, clean up the garden, work on the engines, clean up the barn and garage, organize the desk and downstairs, decorate a little, etc.
And you know what? I feel really lucky… really blessed, to be here… to be able to be in good health, to have so many things to do that need done. Simply to wake up and watch the sun rise. Here’s wishing you a great week ahead!
“The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.”
- John Updike, September