No really, this post is about birds and bees.
For several years, I knew where there was a wild hive of bees. My garden was always alive with their humming as they pollinated. Last summer, despite a mild winter and spring rains, the bees didn't return. I made the 1/2 mile trek to the tree, only to discover the bees were gone. They had either swarmed to a new location, or died. My suspicion was death, since I had no honey bees in my garden at all. Not one.
This spring, my flowering trees and bushes are once again covered in honey bees. I wondered where the hive was. The hole you see above is humming with bee activity. It was only by chance that I even noticed. The tree is only about 15 feet from the road where I live. I only glanced up at it, because years ago I spotted a Ringtail face in that hole. My brain automatically looks up when I drive by---perchance to see another animal face. This time my eyes caught activity of another sort. Bees!
I've tried numerous times to capture their buzzing about, by my camera can't manage to keep up. Some folks might ask if I'm concerned they may be "killer bees". No, I'm not really concerned, but I give the hive a wide berth all the same. I'm just glad they're back.
Here you see an expectant father Bluebird. He has a snack for his beloved female, as she sits the nest. Another Bluebird nest box has 5 hatchlings in it. Those parents are working from sun up until sundown each day trying to keep everyone happy and healthy. By the looks of the babies when I took their picture (not included), they should be fledging this week. Then the real work for the parents begin---they feed those five babies for another week to 10 days, scattered all about the neighborhood. Not only do they have to find food, but they have to find the babies as well!
photo credit: Ron Austing with Enature
My Chimney Swifts are back in my chimney! No one in the family is excited but me. I know they're noisy, but they're Endangered. I'm willing to sacrifice a little peace and quiet for 6 months for an Endangered species. If you listen to the link above, just imagine that sound in a chimney. It's like putting the sound in a megaphone---it's sort of amplified by the length and width of the chimney. It doesn't go on all day. Just when the parents bring food to the babies and when the wind blows hard across the top of the chimney. It's scary when the wind blows, just ask my dogs. :)
So, it's official. Baby birds and honey bees mean Spring is officially here to stay.