Like bees on cherry

I have a love/hate relationship going on with the weeping cherry near the garage. For all of seven days in early spring(less if it’s warm) it puts on its floral show, and when it does I hate the dirty white color.  The tree is filled with dead twigs which need removing, it frequently needs pruning, and its trunk harbors a colony of carpenter ants(just waiting to stage an assault on the house).  The few redeeming qualities of the tree are what have kept it off the woodpile.  The wintertime structure of the weeping branches appeals to me, and early bulbs seem to like growing in its dank, rooty, shade, but most of all for the few days when it’s in flower insects far and wide swarm to what must be the first nectar buffet open in the neighborhood.

mixed daffodils

The daffodils are coming on, but they just don’t pull in the pollinators like the cherry tree does.

Here’s my first attempt to get a video of the blossom orgy.  If you risk clicking, it’s about a one minute phone video I took and although there are many reasons why I do not expect it to garner more than 15 views tops, I hope someone out there likes the buzzing (turn up the volume) and the fluttering.

I did try to get a few still shots of bees, but that realm of photography is still way beyond me.  If bugs are your thing I highly recommend giving Donna a visit at Garden Walk, Garden Talk.  Now there’s someone who knows her way around a macro lens.

Paper wasps!

We were off on holiday weekend visits for three days but to look at things outside you would think we’ve been gone a week!  It was hot, there were seedling casualties, but most stuff survived and the heat made a couple things explode into growth.

One thing that is growing is the paper wasp nest we found in the little dawn redwood.  paper wasp nestI’d rather it wasn’t so close to the sandbox but the kids want it to stay and I’m willing to see how that works out.  The kids are old enough to know better than to antagonize them, but I’m not so sure how that will hold up when the boys get together and hit an “I’m bored” moment….. Obviously I wouldn’t be doing this if there were any known sting allergies around.

The nest is only about four feet up, and I’m curious as to how these guys chose their nest site.  Out of all the bushes and trees around the yard they pick this one.  The one closest to the play area.  Go figure.  But it is interesting to watch them working on the nest, doing what paper wasps do.bald faced hornet

This can easily turn out to be one of those “that was stupid” posts…. time will tell.  Hopefully in the fall when this set of wasps die and they abandon the nest (they only use it one year) the next generation will pick a better spot.   In the meantime I hope they help themselves to as many caterpillars, bugs and spiders as they want, they can be a great beneficial insect, and I hope they’ll keep my kindness in mind when I absentmindedly bump the nest while mowing back there…. that should be funny to watch.