Thursday, March 26, 2009

Autumn is Here

Chookie was asking how we know autumn is here. In my case, it is usually the Autumn Crocus coming up.


This year the first one was on the 20th February - and then all the rest waited until 25 March. So I am confused.

Except the ornamental grape started to change colour, about a week or so ago. That is one of my other first indicators of autumn.

The other annual indicator I use around this time is, as soon as the first petals come out on the Tree Dahlia, the first frost will arrive. So I never seem to get a good show on them any more, as they are cut down before their prime. And that may not work this year anyway, as in the heatwave a month or so ago, the Tree Dahlias were totally destroyed. Or so I thought.

But no - they are back again, as good as ever, but probably very confused about when they are supposed to flower. So it will be "wait and see".

The season is dry - so I am glad to announce I have found a good way to have water out for the Bees. They soak water up, rather than drink it, which is why they can often be found on mud at the edge of water. I have tried using cloth and sponges in the bird bath, but without luck. Then I lucked on this:


This is a cheap flower from a cheap shop - a sort of thin spongy plastic, that once was purple. The bees are very attached to it, as it gives a lot of spots where they can suck the water up. It seems to me that, as it ages and breaks down, it becomes more popular - or maybe they are just finding it difficult to find water elsewhere.

Or maybe they have a sort of "map" of how to find it now - bees return to the hive and carry out a complex dance that lets other bees know where they have found nectar - maybe they do the same for water. I wonder if there are bees within a hive tasked to find water, and others to find nectar?

So don't forget to leave water out for the bees. And experiment around to find a platform from which they can soak it up.


Blogger Daphne Gould said...

I never knew the bees needed a place for water. I'm sure they don't where I live. It rains so much. But if I lived in a dry place I would never have thought of it.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Ozjane said...

I also admit to ignorance and I grew up with beehives and working the smoker.......often rather more towards myself than Father. I guess in those days there was usually water somewhere on a market garden.
I have been known to go out late and night to fill the bird bath.

1:37 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Okay I had not even thought about water for the bees. We have 2 dogs so maybe the bees visit their water bowls. I reckon I could get a lily!

9:47 PM  
Blogger J.C. said...

Ha the others I am ignorant of the fact that the bees would need a place to get their water. Ha ha..this is enlightening!

I realized that I have butterflies and birds in the garden taking water from my water lily pond. There are some bees too ~ but they go from flowers to flowers. Never catch them in the water yet. Great to learn of this here!

1:38 PM  
Blogger J.C. said...

That's a good harvest!
And I like the photos of the wheel barrow and your abundance of good harvest! Postcard-like shots!

1:42 PM  

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