And here's a recent picture of my Papa. He's a year younger than my mother and this photo was taken last year. My dad has been remarried for over 40 years and that's why I have a young, 37 year old sister, Dani.
I'm excited about all the commotion in the air and on the sunflowers today - namely bees of all sorts, moths, butterflies and dragonflies (to name a few) are all swarming around the crepe myrtle and my sunflower garden. Looking at all these pollinators froliking in the morning sun made my heart sing. A couple of times I actually had to duck because something big was coming at me ... just amazing wildlife right next to my apartment!
I live in an end unit (thank God) and this is my bedroom wall where otherwise another neighbor would live. I only have one, but she's enough (nuff said!)
This is a different variety of sunflower. It has extra large leaves and I think it will be a rust color - we'll see. Thankfully they are not opening all at once, but in phases.
The sunflowers are attracting so much attention that the roses below their towering stems are humbled in their shadow...I will have to go and fertilize everything today.
INCOMING! I didn't even realize I captured two bees in flight until I saw the photo on the computer. I couldn't have done better if I tried.
Here's a big ole bumble bee on a flower, but I've been seeing all sorts of bees, including the green carpenter bees..and various kinds of other flying insects buzzing around the sunflowers.
Here I got a two-fer! While I was trying to capture the bee on the foreground flower, I see that there are two others on the sunflower in the back as well...(you may have to double-click on the photos to make them bigger!)
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed at first because all the honey bees were on the nearby crepe myrtle and my sunflowers were not getting much action, but lately it has been a buzz fest out there...a free-for-all. I'm extra glad I deterred the Astro extermination guy from spraying my flowers and plants around my unit, because I don't care what they say, it's all poisonous. I have seen toads hopping in the flower beds, little green tree frogs and lizards on the front and back porch and they keep the bugs away better than insecticides.
I love this crepe myrtle so much - it attracts a lot of honey bees when it's in full bloom. My neighbor allowed her visiting adult children to butcher hers down to the trunk. I wanted to cry! I'm surprised management didn't fine her. She's of the old-school thinking that believes in "crepe murder" by chopping off all the limbs thinking it will come back better the next year. Well, that poor tree is barely producing green branches now while all the others are in full bloom; it simply doesn't have the energy to even think of blooming this spring. So sad! Maybe next year, if they don't chop it down again, it will get the chance to bloom again like it did every year before they butchered it. Nobody better come near my bushes/trees with a saw, I'll take the hose to them - LOL OK, ok! Yes, I'm a tree hugger and not ashamed to say it!
When I stood under that crepe myrtle, I heard and saw all that buzzing...when I snapped into the flowering branches, I captured some of the busy insects in flight without even realizing it. You'll have to click on the photo to see it better, but it was almost impossible to not capture some pollinator or another.
My heirloom roses are blooming in big, bright clusters. These are the ones I bought on MichiganBulb.com when I first moved in here (about 6 years ago) and they never fail. They bloom profusely and I always clip some to enjoy inside. I allow them to dry in the vase and they emit such a honey-like scent that they make the best potpourri.
I also installed a simple, inexpensive sprinkler system (three sprinkler heads on spikes with connecting hoses) so that I can just keep the ground moist till my Kohlrabi get bigger. I keep pinecones on the ground to deter stray cats in my little "garden" and it seems to be working thus far.
Here you see some Kohlrabi plants (inside the green wire) and in the foreground is the musk melon where I just buried some seeds in the ground right after eating a Cantaloupe just to see what would happen - well it's growing....and behind that is the lemon bush I had in a pot and finally set it free. It had one blossom that smelled heavenly and if I'm lucky, I may get one lemon this year!
Last, but not least, I have to show you my boy, oh, boy, look at that:
"Ahem, excuse me, but you are in my chair!"
"Why are you holding my bunny?"
"MO-OM! Is she allowed to sit in my rocking chair????"
"Happy now, Gizzy?"
(Miss Dolly can sit in your chair when you're napping.)
And finally I'm having a Beanie Blowout in my Etsy shop. I'm offering free shipping on all my basic beanies through the end of May, 2011, many of which are just $10. Normally I offer my blogging friends a 15% discount, but on this deal I can't, because I am barely making a profit at all, but I want to move some beanies and I've got a lot of yarn! I finished this one last night. Please check out my Beanies and Hats Section in my Etsy Shop for more colors! Be sure to click on every listing because each listing has five different photos of more color choices!