“Saddlebags” of milkweed pollen! Busy bee!

insect bee and milkweed

It was exciting for me and the busy bee to find some milkweed blossoms the deer haven’t eaten yet! The milkweed pollen our bee is collecting looks like butter! I wonder what it tastes like. We ate young green milkweed pods once over 40 years ago. As I recall, you need to boil them twice, changing the water. Warning: Please Google before you try them. They tasted like string beans.

Proud owner of Backyard Bees of North America poster!

Insect bee on horse nettles 2

In spite of my poster on Backyard Bees of North America I have not identified this one yet. The poster shows side views of bees, not top down. Plus I didn’t find this bee in my backyard. Oops. I was on the road again.

Insect bee on horse nettles

But I can tell you the flowers are horse nettles . If not, hopefully someone will correct me! Meanwhile, don’t touch them!


The deadly cuteness of invasives


Some invasives are really hard to hate. Japanese honeysuckle is lovely to look at, lasts for awhile in a vase and it’s fun to show kids how to suck the juice out of it. ¬†Exotic honeysuckle replace native forest shrubs and herbaceous plants by their invasive nature and early leaf-out. They shade out herbaceous ground cover and deplete soil moisture. Seeds are readily dispersed by birds. Some research suggests that the plant inhibits the growth of other plants in its vicinity.

flower multiflora

What rose has more blossoms tumbling down in joyful waterfalls than the multiflora rose?

Native To: Eastern Asia (Amrine 2002)

Date of U.S. Introduction: Late 1700s (Amrine 2002)

Means of Introduction: Cultivated as an ornamental, for erosion control, and as a living fence (Amrine 2002)

Impact: Forms dense thickets that invade pastures and crowd out native species (Munger 2002)

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