Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Busy as Bees in the Coneflowers

Mid-July mornings are busy, especially when the temperature and humidity rise quickly each day. It is best to get the gardening done early. Fortunately we got a bit of rain yesterday, so the gardens did not need watering. This provided time for new plantings of sugar snap peas, green beans, cilantro, spinach, and arugula. Then to harvesting cucumbers (these are coming on strong), zucchini, patty pan summer squash, lettuce, and a few sun gold tomatoes.The green beans are full of blossoms and a few beans are forming. The okra is a bit stunted, but starting to form small fruits.

After planting and harvesting, I walked around the yard with the water-filled yogurt container collecting Japanese beetles. The numbers are declining so I am hopeful that I'm getting ahead of them. They favor certain plants: hazelnut bushes, evening primrose, blueberry bushes, and a smattering of other plants. At least I know where to focus my energy. In the morning and the evening the beetles are quite sluggish and easy to gather.

Then I paused to enjoy the purple coneflowers bathed in morning sun. I love watching the pollinators at work; they were all busy this morning, sharing space on each flower with one another. Here is a collection of the bees, flies, beetles, and butterflies at work this morning (click to enlarge).

Banded longhorn beetle

Skippers and friends

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