Nature

Busy as a bee

Bee feeding

I found this busy little bee working on a daisy the other day. It was probing and moving and probing and moving all over the centre of the flower. Once in a while, it would stop in one place for several seconds, before moving on to insert it’s proboscis somewhere else.

I have to assume that there are multiple sources of nectar there. …Wish I knew more botany…or at least more about the daisy flower.

Anyway, busy bee is an apt description of me these days as well. I have a major project in the works that is taking up a lot of time. It’s not overwhelming, but it does take some careful thinking and methodical effort to ensure it’s success.

Posting may be somewhat sporadic over the next few weeks, but my intention is to post at least a couple of times a week.

We’ll see…

Spring project comes to an end

Lily of the Valley berries

If you’ve been reading along, you’ll know I’ve been trying to document ‘spring’ in a local Surrey BC forest called Green Timbers Park.

One plant that I’ve been particularly interested in is Wild Lily of the Valley (Maianthemum dilatatum). It seems my reference for the name was a bit old, and it’s now called False Lily of the Valley or Two-leaved False Soloman’s Seal. (Impersonating both, I guess 😉 But the latin is apparently right. Yay.)

That said, they’ve finally finished flowering and the berries/seeds are developing.

It’s been a long time coming. I noticed the first young plants April 2, the first flower spikes April 9 and the first full berries today. That seems like a long time for such a seemingly delicate plant that’s found on the forest floor. I will say though, the plants themselves are now looking pretty battered by various insects and falling debris from the spring bud break on the trees above.

So with only 2 more days until the summer solstice here in North America, that about brings my spring project to a close. I’m thinking about another one to carry on through the summer, but there may be a smattering of posts on more of a variety of topics from here on in.

Blueberry patch

Blueberries

I found these for the first time yesterday. Blueberries (Vaccinium sp.) are not all that common in Green Timbers park, but I’ll have to keep my eyes open for more.

I just used my Canon G10 for this shot, and I was quite impressed with it’s macro setting/automatic exposure. With my Nikons, I shoot in manual mode, so relying on the camera to handle everything seemed weird. Still, I guess that’s what point and shoot cameras are for, right?

Beauty and the beast

Beauty and the beast

Dog lovers are going to have their work cut out for them over the next few weeks. The lovely flowers on the large leaved avens plants at Green Timbers are turning into nasty, hair and clothes-loving burrs. And there are lots of them!

Having been a dog owner in the past, I remember spending lots of time ‘grooming’ burrs out of my spaniel’s hair. Not fun.

Forest delicacy

The salmonberries (Rubus spectabilis) are starting to ripen in the local forests. The berries are often somewhat scarce, so they can be a real treat when you find them.

Salmonberry

Also, the cottonwood trees are living up to their name. Their cottony seeds are starting to fall like snow and collect in bunches on the ground. Things could get messy over the next couple of weeks 😉

Cottonwood cotton

A bed of lily of the valley

This is the most common habitat for wild lily of the valley in Green Timbers Park in SurreyBC.The path is just off to the right.

Bed of wild lily of the valley

It’s been my spring project to follow this plant (along with others, of course) from the first signs in spring, through to flowering. I expect we’ll get another few days of these bright white flowers, and that will be it.

I’ll be interested to see what the berries look like.

It’s been fun, and for an added bonus, here’s another shot from today. I’ve cropped heavily to see the pollen, and a pollen drop on the flowers (right side). Seems a spider has also taken up residence there in the crevices. Neat.

_DWS3414

They’re finally flowering

Back on May 7, I noted that I’ve been waiting for the wild lily of the valley to bloom. A few had just started, but, for the most part, things had stalled on the stalk (so to speak).

Well finally! We had a really warm day yesterday, and it seems the flowers have decided it’s time. There’s little fields of wild lily of the valley along the path around the lake at Green Timbers Park. Yay!

They are still hard to photograph, due to all the ‘creaminess’, but today there seemed to be a better light, which produced a few more defining shadows. They’re sure delicate little things.

Lily of the valley