I have planted lots of native flowering plants; some non-native flowering plants; spring and summer bulbs; perennial herbs; fruits and nuts trees. I also plant annual herbs and vegetables. Each tiny (less than a foot in height and about 2 inch across) perennial plants have grown to their full capacity; they are tall and wide and fat and healthy. Each of them has taken up every inch of the garden space that was provided to them. They are crawling and climbing and some of them standing tall and erect. Such thick bushes and ground-covers have created pockets and places where various species -- birds, mammals, reptiles and insects -- take shelter or cover for safety.
Our garden has indeed become a magnet for wild-lives. It has become a bit too much, I guess, as neighbors say that now and then they see black bears passing through our yards. That's why I have stopped providing foods to birds as the food also attracts bears. Bears, deers, groundhogs, chipmunks, raccoons, birds, squirrels, rats, mouse, snakes, frogs, salamanders, stray cats and all sorts of insects are constantly visiting the garden. And, that also has created quite a danger. Luckily, I have not come face to face with any bear but I'm getting stung by bees or wasps that I can't recognize.
I walk around the garden to capture their pictures but they are too fast (or I guess camera-shy) as they fly/run/dart away as soon as I approach them. So, here are some that I could get. I feel happy to be able to provide sanctuary in this earth where habitat-destruction and ever dwindling of nature and forests have become a common place. I am not a charismatic person or a born orator that I can arouse the passion in others and lead them against climate, environment and nature destruction. So, I'm trying to do my small part in my small ways. And, it also helps me feeling a bit smug and/or snobbish as my neighbors hung all those hummingbird-feeders; none visit the feeders and neighbors ask if I've seen any humming-bird. Of course, I have -- they come, sip nectar, take rest on branches of my trees and then fly away :-).
Photographer: Hmm...Is this a carpenter-bee? Or a fly? Apparently many flies mimic the bees and wasps and only an expert can distinguish with naked eyes.
Photographer: Bear in our backyard. Sorry for the hazy and not so distinct pictures as I didn't dare approach it and was trying to take the pictures quite fast :-). In the first picture, it's standing tall and eating sunflower seeds from the bird-feeders.
Observing and watching these wild lives is my meditation. I surely do forget everything as I see the birds and wasps drinking from our artificially-made small pond; butterflies fluttering; bees and wasps hovering over flowers; bumble-bees buzzing from one flower to the next, and chipmunks darting from safe place to another. The peace and calm it brings is thousand times more powerful and effective than doing yoga or sitting in a room and practicing meditation. And how much nectar does a tiny flower has? I see bees, wasps, hummingbirds all visiting the same flower again and again!?
Now, I need your help. Anyone know who might be living here (the picture below)? It's a pot with some papers stashed into it. I see the creature every summer -- they always live in the nook and crannies like this -- stashed papers, leaf debris. Their color is exactly that of yellow-jacket -- bright yellow with those stripes. But their bodies are not of wasps. Rather much like bees -- thick and fat and hairy. It also hovers on top of flowers. But I don't think I've ever seen them sipping nectar. Rather they seem to bump into (or attack) other bees. They are very protective of their homes and will sting you and attack you. And their stings are extremely painful; itchy and the area will get swollen. They are always so fast, darting in and out that it's impossible to capture them in pictures. So, if anyone has any idea, do let me know.
I'm joining in the memes hosted by Rambling Woods, St Germain's and Today's Flowers meme.