Harvest Time

The dead foliage in my yard told me it was time to get dirty. Peanuts are the weirdos of the legume family, after pollination the flower sends a peg down into the soil where the embryo grows into a peanut.

After a bit of rooting around I had filled a three gallon bucket with peanuts. I’ll toss out a handful every day for the birds. Knowing them, the Blue Jays will probably plant them somewhere. I guess I’ll find out next spring if they found another good spot in my yard!

Plant It and They Will Come

Since it’s playoff season, I felt it was appropriate to borrow (and slightly alter) a phrase from the world of baseball. The saying rings true in my front yard. Shortly after moving in, I dug out my entire lawn and replaced it with a pollinator garden. I carefully selected native and other plants that would flower year-round.

The pretty pops of color not only look attractive but they attract dozens of species to my yard. This week I couldn’t help but notice a large bee buzzing around.

He was so busy devouring nectar that I was able to capture a few decent photos of this Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica). Two species of Xylocopa occur in Florida, thankfully identifying this one was easy because he was massive! The other species is quite small in comparison.

Their glossy bodies help differentiate them from Florida’s five species of bumblebees. The yellow dot on his forehead (see the first photo) indicates that this was a male, since females lack that distinctive feature.