Morning Stretches

Enjoying the garden and its gifts has taken a bit of a backseat this spring as massive pruning after Snowpocalypse is ongoing and sometimes overwhelming. I’m nearing the end of the cleanup of my garden, but there is always more to do. Yesterday, instead of sawing, clipping, and composting, I spent some time rambling through my gardens, stretching my legs, camera in hand, at the ready. In the hullabaloo of chores, I haven’t focused on appreciating the resilience of plants as they’re bursting forward with spring growth, or spent time admiring the determination of honeybees as they gather for their hive.

This honeybee, pollen pantaloons (prosaically: corbiculae or pollen baskets) in full, golden glory, focuses her attention on a cluster of Giant spiderwort, Tradescantia gigantea. As I observed and clicked, she zoomed in, proboscis forward, to sip the succulent nectar from the sweet bloom.

Bums up! Soon, she leaned in to the depth of the flower. Is there more in there??

After nosing around a bit, she climbed out, those pantaloons even heavier with pollen.

Having worked one bloom, she headed to a neighbor, repeating her efforts.

It’s been an interesting month, this March 2021. I’m pleased that my garden has mostly rebounded (still waiting for you, oak trees!) but there was little time between the frozen, snowcapped devastation and the onslaught of spring growth to catch a gardener’s breath. Garden critters haven’t missed a beat, though. Their concerns are survival–food, cover, procreation–and so they remain active and in shape for their daily duties.

Joining with Anna today and Wednesday Vignette. Check out garden stories for this last day of March and happy pruning and garden watching!

20 thoughts on “Morning Stretches

  1. I am doing the clean up also. I have 3 Carolina Jazmin one on the fence one as you go into the pond era and one in between .One on the fence died the one in between has a lot of dead leaves and the one to my pond has flowers has a few dead leaves . Strange .Just wanted to say I love your stories. I live in Llano west of you. Have a good day.

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    • Thanks so much for reading, Patricia! Yes, it’s funny how the cold impacted plants. I have two Yaupon hollies, about 5 feet from one another. One froze to the ground, the other remained evergreen. Talk about microclimates! As well, the one that froze was always the larger and, so I thought, hardier of the two.

      It might be that your dead jessamin just needs a little time. Because of my shade, I mostly only grow the non-native, Star jasmine. They all look dead, but have green sprouts beginning. My one Carolina jessamine is the same way: it looked dead, but green is happening. Good luck with your garden!!

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  2. I am doing exactly the same. I am still hoping a few large shrub/trees will come back, but it doesn’t look good. The amount of bees at my hummer feeders are slowing down. There must be something blooming in the neighborhood that caught their attention.

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    • It’s been quite the chore this year. I’m happy to say that the spring blooming trees have lessened the need for bees to be fed artificially; the pollinators have their sources in nature ready and waiting.

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  3. I’m the second commenter to single out “pollen pantaloons.” I thought maybe you coined the phrase, so I searched. You’re not the first to use it, but the number of hits I got was only in the hundreds, so it’s not a common phrase. We’ve got one tall spiderwort flowering alongside our house.

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  4. I’m envious! I’ve seen only a few spiderwort, but it may be that they’re progressing more quickly in your urban garden than out on the prairie. There were a few on the Nash prairie, but they’ve had a burn out there, and that’s slowed down things a bit.

    I have seen unbelievable numbers of bees, including some I couldn’t identify: big, black and shiny critters that were almost the size of a cicada killer. They were enjoying wisteria at the time, but the bluebonnets have been covered with honeybees, too.

    I learned about those ‘pantaloons’ from you. It’s the best description ever — especially for those of us who used to wear pantaloons, or had them for our dolls!

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    • That’s very interesting about the spiderwort. My garden has more than I expected this year but I’m not complaining and neither are the bees. I’m thrilled you’re seeing so many native bees! That warms my heart! I’ve seen a few, but I never have my camera ready. My favorite bee, the Horsefly-like Carpenter bee hasn’t made an appearance yet, except for two dead ones that I found. Not happy about that.

      I like pollen pantaloons, too. It fits!

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  5. You’re pruning too, huh? Glad spring has finally arrived! Yesterday, I saw a giant bumblebee deep diving into a rhododendron. I stood and watched it for several minutes – so enchanting! I always wonder how long they keep going with those pollen pantaloons before they have to clear them off and start over. They might be like me with a wheelbarrow – I always fill it way too much!

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    • SO much pruning! Most of my plants required pruning to the ground. I still have vines that need work, but those are small taters compared to the other stuff. The good news is that other than two potted American agave, everything else is coming back–some more slowly than others, but still…:)

      I like your description of the bee as ‘enchanting’–they really are wonderful to observe.

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      • Ugh, I’m sorry. It’s so hard to make such drastic changes – at least I think so. Making some hard decisions myself this week regarding leaning trees.

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      • I think I may have lost an old Retama (also called Jerusalem Thorn, Palo Verde, etc.). It was declining, so the over a week of sub-freezing temps probably has done it in. Drat!

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  6. Tina, you’re still pruning your garden: it’s a lot of work. I hope you have little left. You have done very well to take the day off and enjoy your garden, its advances and Spring. The plants that have been strong and how they have come forward with spring, it is magnificent, I love it! I love the pollen pants bee eating on the Tradescantia gigantea because life goes on in Nature after the Snowpocalypse. The photos are wonderful, I love them. I am very happy that your garden has almost completely recovered, it is fantastic !! And that the wild animals in the garden follow their usual routine at this time of year: I love it. Tina take good care of you and Bee Daddy and keep you safe. Happy gardening !! Happy Easter. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita 😘🤗🌼😀

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    • It really has been so much work, Margarita. But spring is here and lovely and most of the work is done. I hope your spring in Madrid is nice and that you’re able to get outside and enjoy it. You take care!!

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