Four different plants have the common name, Rose of Sharon. The images below are example of the species Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), a shrub, found in North America. It had just finished raining which is evident by the wet blossoms and pollen-loaded, water saturated, and immobile bee.
I admired the blooms for many years along my neighbor’s fence. When I was looking to fill some open space in my garden, she suggested I take a few of the numerous new shoots emerging between the mature shrubs. I did so. My green-thumb gardener, mother, warned me that they can be invasive and I might want to rethink my use of them in my garden. This turned out to be very true. Like other advice from a mother, it took me several years to realize her wisdom. Though I removed the three full size shrubs several years ago, I am still continuously pulling out young sprouts every few weeks all around my garden. They are easy to remove when new sprouts; and good exercise.
The images below are from this dear neighbor’s yard. The upward view on the pink blossom is because the shrub has grown to over eight feet tall and FULL of beautiful blossoms. I am grateful for my wonderful neighbors, and also that there is a wide gravel alley between our two gardens; keeping neighboring seeds at bay.
Rain soaked Rose of Sharon, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Water and pollen laden Bee on Rose of Sharon bloom, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
I feel like “bee”ing spontaneous today and post two images I took just a little while ago, though I do have some older images awaiting my attention. It is always fun for me to “see” new things in my images after they have been created. Most often, I “see” new subjects in my creations when looking through a day’s work on the laptop. Today I had two surprises. The most obvious is the bee in flight. Then I spied a larva on the backside of a flower; the antennae drew my curiosity, leading me to see an attached body.
The anole lizard image was from this summer; it had had enough of my encroaching presence and managed to land safe and dry on the further rail.
Busy bee, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Look at the back of the flower – who is peeking out? copyright 2014, Pamela Breitberg
Anole lizard mid-jump; copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
This Bumble Bee is waiting out the cool drizzle on this atypical 63-degree (F) August afternoon. Wrapped tightly around the Joe Pye Weed stem, it rests until the sun shines and wings are once again dry.
Bumbe Bee resting on Joe Pye Weed copyright 2014, Pamela Breitberg
Nodding Onion copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg
Nodding Onion bloom and bud copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg
Revelation is in the detail. Zoom in on each of image and see what more often than not remains unnoticed. Plump balls of morning dew crowd on pedals and stems while stamen and buds appear dry. These blooms nod not because of abundant mass but as an adaptation that helps deter insects while also protecting the nectar from rain. In spite of the incredible dexterity of flying insects most choose not to hang upside down. The bee is the benefactor of this plant’s design, enjoying the protected nectar of Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum) .
These images are busier in composition than I prefer; too many lines and no real focal point that makes the subject easily understood. The thin grass leaves are echoed by the long thin pedicels holding each flower. Only the change in color from green to pinkish white and the spherical cluster of blooms draw one’s eye to this plant. Yet, like the prairie, taking a close look at each image is time well spent.
Summer on prairie copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg
Portrait shadow on prairie copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg
Awesome, open, stable, prolific, clean, diverse, and untamed. These are all words that help explain a prairie. Some have mistaken a prairie for a weed patch. This particular prairie is a restoration project, roughly five years towards maturity. The diversity of summer prairie blooms is event on this low hill, a good place to test plant identification skills. With any luck this prairie will survive for hundreds of years; dormant seeds can lie wait decades when poor conditions occur; roots grow many feet deep insuring survival during drought and fire. In addition to the plant species that make a prairie a prairie are wide open blue skies with a few wispy clouds, masking the reality of strong blowing winds animating the plants beneath.
Bee Balm copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg
Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) (which like most flowers does attract bees) was plentiful this late July evening, partly because it tends to colonize. Considered native by some naturalists and “introduced” by other, its origins are the Eastern United States and has since spread to the Midwest, providing more fuel to restoration dialogues. What time period does one choose as a restoration point when restoring “native” lands?
Full of peace, secluded, ever-changing, mature, subtle diversity, and safe. As I review these images I think reflect on my garden, perennial beds home to some native species; twenty-seven years in the making. My garden is loosely organized. Living across the street from a forest preserve I purposely chose to keep my garden casual in design. No squared off lawn edging, no crisply trimmed shrubs, no formal brick division between lawn and perennial beds. The perennials have chosen to re-seed outside of designated planned spaces, reinforcing the casual design plan.
Preserved garden by forest preserve copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg
Bee on Aster copyright 2011 Pamela Breitberg
This time of year the garden is full of busy work, including buzzing bees, also guests of the aster. What’s not evident in the previous post of the Cabbage White and this image of the bee is the constant activity at this cluster of purple fall bloom. The Cabbage White and the Bee remain still only for brief moments and then shift to different petals, trying new positions for the more perfect angle to sup the nectar. Meanwhile sparrows are accompanied by Junko, chickadee, goldfinch, and woodpeckers, all jockeying for time at the bird feeder. Squirrels are chasing each other and pausing to dine on acorns strewn on the lawn. Chipmunks join the busy-ness as they flit back and forth gathering whatever they can carry in preparation for winter’s emminant arrival.