Wednesday, May 26, 2004

bumble bees and birds

i started gardening again. the new yard is pleasantly smaller, and the major weed in the yard, a few different vines, seems an easier thing to tackle than the crab grass that had overtaken the shotwell garden. more importantly my upstairs neighbors have been keenly working on it, and so the garden's fate is not completely dependent on my attentions.

in short, i'm starting to get to know the denizens of my new neighborhood. a couple of hummingbirds are often zooming about. their odd little chirps can be heard quite often, and they seem to be having a tiff with a large scrub jay who, one day was, hopped from tree to tree trying to break off twigs. i watched one hummingbird, hover, climb vertically in a rapid fashion then make a swooping dive. he or she repeated this a dozen times -- a mating dance, or so my liz informs me (having learned it on a trip to idaho); i saw the pair another day, flying through the air together, kissing each other it appeared, long beak to long beak.

digging up the jasmine, i stumbled across a nest of bumble bees. i'd read they nested in the ground, but this was my first evidence of this fact. the bumbled around me, making me wonder yet again, do bumble bees sting? i should find out.

ruby, the old sheperd dog of my upupstairs neighbor comes down to hang out with me on occassion. but i've only seen two cats so far, our upstairs neighbors, a fat old thing, but friendly enough, and an orange tabby who i've only seen in neighboring yards, and i've not been able to tempt it over.

speaking of birds, i was riding back from the ocean through golden gate park watching the antics of crows. the wind was streaming inland and they were playing a game around the old windmill -- what looked like king of the castle, floating higher and higher and trying to knock off whomever they found at the top. that one would swoop down, sometimes another crow in chase, zooming down into the forest before rising again in front of the windmill. it astounds me how they hover, rise and fall in the wind, some might deny they are having a good time, but i cannot.


At 9:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear that you disturbed a hive of bees--hopefully they did not atack you! Sounds like you and Ruby(!) are having a good time gardening. Have you planted any veggies and other edibles? I highly recommend nasturtiums since they are pretty and both the flower and the leaves may be added to salads to give them that extra kick. However, they do tend to like lots of sun, but your neighborhood is pretty nice in terms of fair skies, so no worries. :) Keep gardening!


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