July 2, 2015


Previously I mentioned seeing a large fly pouncing on a native bee. After careful watching, I’ve discovered what was going on. They both are the same species of bee, and the larger male has been cruising around from one end of the flower patch to the other, looking for females. Somehow he can tell if they’ve mated or not, and the pouncing is so he can do the honors.

I’m glad it wasn’t an attack on my bees. I’m also glad to know I have a breeding population, although I couldn’t tell you what species they are. None of the pictures I look at online are quite the same. But I’m still watching.


With any luck, we’ll be spending July Fourth building a pergola and fencing along the east side of our house. My husband wants to screen between our living room and the neighbor’s bedroom. I’d like to create an alcove where we can sit in the shade on hot afternoons, and maybe even do yoga some mornings.

To me, it’s a lot more patriotic to create something beautiful than it would be to over-eat, get drunk, or blow stuff up. Although, if it’s as hot as forecast, I’m sure there will be a bit of beer around to reward the workers.


I’ve taken a big gamble and transplanted some small sunflowers from Bed 7 into Bed 5. They’re tucked behind some large lavender and aster bushes, so I hope that will shade them enough that they don’t bake in the sun. Bed 5 is very blah, actually. Large bushes and not much else. I’m inventorying my yard for things I can divide and move over there in the fall.


No tomatoes ripe yet, but my wax beans and snap peas are delicious. I’ve got my first batch of beets, but I have to figure out how to cook them in this heat without roasting up the house.

I continue watching the California poppies for the seed pods to ripen.


With the sunflowers in bloom, I’ve started to hear the familiar song of goldfinches in my yard. This is something I really look forward to every year. Also, while riding my bike along the Spokane River a few days ago, I startled a Whitetail doe out of the brush. Not exactly my yard, but that’s just as well. I don’t need wildlife helping themselves to my lettuce.

As I mentioned the bees above, I should also mention that they didn’t seem to like the sunflower stems I’ve provided, so I bought some reed sections that I hope will attract more tenants to the nesting box.

To all those in the USA, have a good Independence Day. Stay safe around the fireworks! The rest of you, just stay safe.


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