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Posts Tagged ‘bees’

Great Golden Digger Wasp

The happiest sound in the garden, I think, is the lusty and industrious buzzing of the bees.  Strolling among the raspberries, I’m picking off destructive beetles as I go, and gathering a teeming bowl full of luscious, juicy, sweet, fat red berries.  And I’m accompanied by this animated concert that drowns out the birdsong.

There is such a variety of bees, hornets and wasps – I know I can’t identify most of them, but can recognize some families, like the fluffy black and yellow bumble bees that come in all shapes and sizes.  Others range from the large amber and black ‘Great Golden Digger’ wasp to the tiny black Mason bees.

One wasp in particular was fun to watch this morning:   It had bright yellow legs and a large striped abdomen of mahogany & yellow and was intently working on a soft, gooey yellow mass – like rolling it into a ball or something.  It was clinging to the raspberry leaf, working on this glob of jelly with its front legs and jaws – rolling, packing, patting.  I stood and watched, wishing I had my camera, when suddenly it took the glob up in its mouth and flew away with it.  I learned later that I had witnessed a paper wasp preparing food to take back to the nest.  This species will ‘pre-chew’ a caterpillar to feed to the larvae.  I found it fascinating!

I hope we all know that bees and wasps are essential for fruitful plant life through pollination, and that their presence means good things for the garden.  But they are helpful in other ways, too.  Almost every pest insect species has at least one wasp species that preys upon it or parasitzes it, making wasps critically important in natural pest control.  Sadly, for some of my friends the sound of bees buzzing in the garden is a warning, as they are deathly allergic to bee stings, and picking berries requires great vigilance.  I’m glad they take extra care when they’re harvesting with me.  But for me, it’s a happy sound, and I don’t give a bee’s presence on the fruit a second thought  -I’m glad to share the bounty with them.  Besides, they’re always gracious and give me plenty of room when I gently go after a berry they’ve had their eye on.

When I’m elbow deep in dispatching Goldsmith Rose Chafers which have decimated  the roses or have turned a pristine iris patch into brown rags overnight, or I’m pulling up the wilted summer squash plants that have succumbed to the Squash Vine Borer, and the battle seems endless and impossible, it’s good for me to remember that not all bugs are evil.  I love the little lady bugs, feeding on aphids by the thousands.  I love the cheery presence of the butterflies, flitting like sparks of light in the sunshine among the flowers.  So, while I’m “bugged” by bugs, I know some bugs are beneficial.

Great Swallowtail on the verbena bonarensis

Great Swallowtail on the verbena bonarensis

Great Spangled Fritillary on the echinacea

Great Spangled Fritillary on the echinacea

My beloved JR and I have been distressed lately by a seemingly insurmountable burden.  It is evident there are certain changes we need to make in our lives and we cannot seem to find our way through to the other side.  The “right” choices are not coming clear.  It is easy for me to get focused on the impossible “enemy”, and lose sight of the whole picture.

How like a complex garden is my soul!  It is not all black or white, good or bad.  One comes mixed with the other.

Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect way in you, so that you may be complete, and lack nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested,may be found to result in praise a glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  (I Peter 1:6-7)

“…we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  (Romans 5:3-5)

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”  (I Peter 5:10)

monarch chrysallis late stagemonarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly emerging from chrysallis

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