Here are a few different views of downtown Chicago, this time from South Pond in Lincoln Park. The naturalized prairie grasses are prominent in the scene. After a leisurely walk through the park we lunched at the delicious Café Brauer; this time dining was a bit of a challenge. This time of year, worker bees are instinctively anxious to gather as much energy (sugar/nectar) and protein (pollen) as possible to store for the coming winter months. So, as my eyes admired the sweet view from our table, they were eyeing my lunch. And typical of me, I watched with love and allowed them to feast in between my bites and sips.
Warning: If you aren’t fond of bees then don’t look at last two images!
View of downtown Chicago and South Pond in Lincoln Park. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg
View of South Pond and Chicago from Cafe Brauer. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg
Worker bee gathering sweetness from my jam. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg
Wine and cocktails were not off limits for the bees, much to the dismay of the diners. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg
For more on bee behavior during the autumn:
The Bee and the Bee’s Balm. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg
Macro image of Bee’s Balm. The center here reminds me of tan insect’s compound eye. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg.
The color and the scent attracts Bees: Bee Balm is a chosen nectar. People find Wild Bergamot tea soothing as well. By any name they are an American favorite. This native perennial has been used by insects, Native Americans and European settlers for centuries. I enjoy it’s unique flower design.
Chicory and Bee. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg
The blue blooms of Chicory easily draw attention against the neutral grays of concrete. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) graces the walls edge along Lincoln Park’s lakefront pathway. I call this plant by its nickname, “Cornflower“. Typical of many plant names both Chicory and Cornflower identify several unique species. Chicory shown here is an invasive Eurasian weed. Its cheerful blue flower is a welcome sight along an otherwise gray-toned location.
Concrete barrier along Lake Michigan serves as a flood wall and walking path in Lincoln Park. Chicory blooms appear frequently along side this pathway. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg
Autumn activity. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg
Autumn is a busy time for nature. Perennial plants and insects prepare for the changing, slower, colder, winter months.
New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) is a part of the prairie terrain in Chicago’s Lincoln Park outside the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The blooms with prolific, pollen-laden anthers caught my attention. If a plant could scream, “Here I am, come visit me” this is what it was silently yelling to passing insects.
Popular with more than insects, during the American Revolution, the leaves became the alternative tea source replacing British varieties. New Jersey Tea has been a long time medicinal choice of Native Indians and a current favorite of herbalists. What will remain unmentioned is that is part of the Buckthorn family whose members include the Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), an aggressive European invader.
New Jersey Tea prolific native survivalist, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
New Jersey Tea in full bloom, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Four different plants have the common name, Rose of Sharon. The images below are example of the species Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), a shrub, found in North America. It had just finished raining which is evident by the wet blossoms and pollen-loaded, water saturated, and immobile bee.
I admired the blooms for many years along my neighbor’s fence. When I was looking to fill some open space in my garden, she suggested I take a few of the numerous new shoots emerging between the mature shrubs. I did so. My green-thumb gardener, mother, warned me that they can be invasive and I might want to rethink my use of them in my garden. This turned out to be very true. Like other advice from a mother, it took me several years to realize her wisdom. Though I removed the three full size shrubs several years ago, I am still continuously pulling out young sprouts every few weeks all around my garden. They are easy to remove when new sprouts; and good exercise.
The images below are from this dear neighbor’s yard. The upward view on the pink blossom is because the shrub has grown to over eight feet tall and FULL of beautiful blossoms. I am grateful for my wonderful neighbors, and also that there is a wide gravel alley between our two gardens; keeping neighboring seeds at bay.
Rain soaked Rose of Sharon, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Water and pollen laden Bee on Rose of Sharon bloom, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
I feel like “bee”ing spontaneous today and post two images I took just a little while ago, though I do have some older images awaiting my attention. It is always fun for me to “see” new things in my images after they have been created. Most often, I “see” new subjects in my creations when looking through a day’s work on the laptop. Today I had two surprises. The most obvious is the bee in flight. Then I spied a larva on the backside of a flower; the antennae drew my curiosity, leading me to see an attached body.
The anole lizard image was from this summer; it had had enough of my encroaching presence and managed to land safe and dry on the further rail.
Busy bee, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Look at the back of the flower – who is peeking out? copyright 2014, Pamela Breitberg
Anole lizard mid-jump; copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
This Bumble Bee is waiting out the cool drizzle on this atypical 63-degree (F) August afternoon. Wrapped tightly around the Joe Pye Weed stem, it rests until the sun shines and wings are once again dry.
Bumbe Bee resting on Joe Pye Weed copyright 2014, Pamela Breitberg