Monday, August 13, 2012

Operation Pollinator rises from the dust!

Oh man has it been a rough month.  Many outside working hours.  Few blooming things.  As a result, also few updates.

Lo siento.

We're back in action now!  Slightly (oh so very, very slightly) lowered temperatures and some timid rainfalls have brought Operation Pollinator back to life.


The annual sunflowers are really starting to dominate their plots, and they seem particularly attractive to larger pollinators like bumblebees.

The bergamot is also slowly coming back to life.  There's a ton of this stuff, foliage-wise, but few blooms right now.  I'm hoping for more recovery between now and September.

The New England aster is also on the rise.  I'm super impressed by this little plant.  It's been hanging in there since June despite record high temperatures, drought, and out-shading.

In newer faces:

My purple coneflowers are finally starting to come in!  This wildflower is a very popular planting around local houses.  If you have some of this plant around your home, good for you!  It's a great native plant that supports both pollinators and finches.

And there's plenty more of it coming on!  The immature blooms look dorky.

The lavender hyssop is coming in beautifully.

Bees love this stuff.  And so do I.

We also have some grade-A hoary vervain (a type of verbena) coming in--though I've only seen one of these blooming.

And finally there is one lonely purpletop verbena in the middle of my butterfly mix.  

The rest of this week is going into putting out more bee bowls to monitor pollinator populations, taking aerial photographs to evaluate floral density, and catching some extra bees for a collaborator who is investigating the endosymbiont communities associated with native bees (correct me if I'm wrong, Abi!).

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