Sweet is in the eyes of the beholder…


Here are a few different views of downtown Chicago, this time from South Pond in Lincoln Park. The naturalized prairie grasses are prominent in the scene. After a leisurely walk through the park we lunched at the delicious Café Brauer; this time dining was a bit of a challenge. This time of year, worker bees are instinctively anxious to gather as much energy (sugar/nectar) and protein (pollen) as possible to store for the coming winter months. So, as my eyes admired the sweet view from our table, they were eyeing my lunch. And typical of me, I watched with love and allowed them to feast in between my bites and sips.

Warning: If you aren’t fond of bees then don’t look at last two images!

View of downtown Chicago and South Pond in Lincoln Park. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

View of South Pond and Chicago from Cafe Brauer. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Worker bee gathering sweetness from my jam. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Wine and cocktails were not off limits for the bees, much to the dismay of the diners. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

For more on bee behavior during the autumn:
https://phys.org/news/2012-10-bees-wasps-busy-autumn.html

The bees and the balm…


The Bee and the Bee’s Balm. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Macro image of Bee’s Balm. The center here reminds me of tan insect’s compound eye. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg.

The color and the scent attracts Bees: Bee Balm is a chosen nectar. People find Wild Bergamot tea soothing as well. By any name they are an American favorite. This native perennial has been used by insects, Native Americans and European settlers for centuries. I enjoy it’s unique flower design.

Patches of blue…


Chicory and Bee. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

The blue blooms of Chicory easily draw attention against the neutral grays of concrete. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Chicory (Cichorium intybus) graces the walls edge along Lincoln Park’s lakefront pathway. I call this plant by its nickname, “Cornflower“. Typical of many plant names both Chicory and Cornflower identify several unique species. Chicory shown here is an invasive Eurasian weed. Its cheerful blue flower is a welcome sight along an otherwise gray-toned location.

Concrete barrier along Lake Michigan serves as a flood wall and walking path in Lincoln Park. Chicory blooms appear frequently along side this pathway. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Summertime activities…


One more fan of the Purple Coneflower is the Bumble Bee. This one is loaded with pollen already as it continues its collection.

One more fan of the Purple Coneflower is the Bumble Bee. This one is loaded with pollen already as it continues its collection.

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A Grasshopper visits our window for a while. The only way I could get the camera to focus on this was to look upward to our soffits from the outside.

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This Monarch Butterfly has been busy at the Purple Coneflower for the past five days.

Popular by many…


New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) is a part of the prairie terrain in Chicago’s Lincoln Park outside the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The blooms with prolific, pollen-laden anthers caught my attention. If a plant could scream, “Here I am, come visit me” this is what it was silently yelling to passing insects.

Popular with more than insects, during the American Revolution, the leaves became the alternative tea source replacing British varieties. New Jersey Tea has been a long time medicinal choice of Native Indians and a current favorite of herbalists. What will remain unmentioned is that is part of the Buckthorn family whose members include the Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), an aggressive European invader.

 

New Jersey Tea prolific native survivalist, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

New Jersey Tea prolific native survivalist, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

New Jersey Tea in full bloom, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

New Jersey Tea in full bloom, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg