Tuesday, July 28, 2020

rudbeckia returns

For the first time, a rudbeckia plant has survived a winter and reappeared!
This is one of the four rudbeckia plants I ordered from a nursery last year. This year it has already struggled through insect attacks that left many leaves tattered and many petals half-eaten before the blooms had even opened. But, as you can see:
the overall effect is one of Triumph and Beauty!

Each of the four was planted in a different place, in hopes in increasing chances of survival. This one was planted in a small bed right by the gate to the barn paddock. Whenever I walk past, I check to see if there are insidious insects chewing on the flowers, and if so, I knock them off. But this past week, there have been tiny bees working away at pollen collection!

Every morning I've thought, "I must go back for the camera," but by the time I've done even the slightest task - such as turning on the hose and passively watching it fill the goats' water buckets - there is sweat literally dripping from my hair, and my clothes are sticking to my entire body. When I get back into the cooler house, the camera is no longer on my mind.

Until today! Today I chanted "camera, camera, camera," as I walked back to the house. Went in, pulled off the leather gloves that were sticking to my fingers, grabbed the camera and went right back out.

One of the little goat-combing folding chairs was conveniently at hand, as I had used it last night to avoid 20 minutes of leaning while doing barnyard macrame on the lower part of a stock panel. So this morning I pulled that little folding chair right up to the rudbeckia and started making bee portraits.

A nearby patch of bee balm was hosting a group of big furry bumblebees, but the rudbeckia was providing an exclusive pollen party for a number of tiny bees from what I think is the family Halictidae - and that, my friends, is as far as I am willing to go on the bee id's. I started to look into it, but it's a huge family, and I have to save some of my small memory bank for remembering whose hooves need to be trimmed and whether or not I've paid my bills this month.

Besides, no name is needed. I'm happy just to see these amazing little creatures.

And these amazing flowers.