Sunday, April 12, 2020
The Bee House
Several years ago, not long after we moved into this flat in 2014, Dave got online and ordered some hexagonal "insect houses" for the garden. They're wooden frames, one stuffed with drilled bits of wood, one with bamboo and one with pine cones.
We hung them on the side wall of the house, in a sunny spot, as the directions suggested. And eventually we made fun of them because they never seemed to attract any bugs.
But this year we've noticed a little bee (at least one) going in and out of the holes in two of the nests. Can you see it flying in the photo above, at upper right? Apparently these insects nest individually in holes like that, and are known as "solitary bees" because they don't live in hives or colonies. They practice social distancing!
So that's kind of cool. I'm glad our insect houses are paying off.
We're continuing to have amazing weather. It's supposed to be 74º F today. My only complaint is that we've had no rain to speak of for a couple of weeks. We were practically underwater in February and early March and now we're bone dry. But I see showers in the forecast for this evening, so here's hoping.
I spent almost all day yesterday sitting on our garden bench, reading. I've started a gigantic book, Garth Risk Hallberg's "City on Fire," which is 900-something pages. I read 100 pages yesterday and I'm liking it so far. I figure if I can get through that much each day I'll be done in a little more than a week -- and even if it takes two weeks, it's not like I don't have the time. I suppose I shouldn't look at it as a task, but any really big book feels that way to me.
I walked Olga in the afternoon. In the cemetery we found a plastic bag hanging from one of the water faucets, full of water, and I thought that was a pretty clever way to give water to a dog. I took it down so Olga could drink from it, and then put it back, and then spent the rest of the walk obsessing about how probably every other person who used that faucet touched that bag and it was the perfect coronavirus vector. Argh! (Of course the handles of the faucets are too, I suppose.)
I ran into a co-worker and we had a socially-distant chat. I'd seen her husband out and about the day before, and I saw another co-worker riding his bike a few days ago. It feels special to see a familiar face (other than Dave). It's something I didn't even realize I was missing.
As you can see, our borage plant -- which grew on its own in this pot with our passionflower vine and some self-seeded forget-me-nots -- is going gangbusters. It's four feet tall, not including the pot. Vigorous! The vine is leafing out, too, so it seems they'll be able to live together through the season.
(I was going to use the verb "cohabitate," but Google is telling me that's not a word. The online dictionary seems to prefer "cohabit," as in "the plants will cohabit through the season." Have I been wrong about that all these years?!)