Bees, butterlies, and hummingbirds attracted to Mexican Sage

I used to be terrified of bees, until we planted Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha) along the walkway to our house. When it blooms, it is covered with honey bees, carpenter bees, and butterflies. Hummingbirds visit throughout the day.

The bees are so busy gathering pollen, that they rarely notice of anyone standing nearby. And even though my husband and I walk by them daily, we haven’t been stung since we planted the sage five years ago.

The bee visiting the flower (in the above photographs) is a female carpenter bee, which will sting but only if disturbed. The males have a white spot on their foreheads, and do not have stingers. They are the ones that “harass” people by flying at them. The more someone waves their arms or runs, the more the males “attack” because they’re attracted by movement.

Mexican sage loves direct sunlight, is heat and drought tolerant, and requires only small amounts of fertilizer. Next year, I may plant a row  in “the dead zone” of our yard, where little grows because the sun’s a little too intense and the soil’s a bit too dry.

Tips for training an adopted kitten

This gallery contains 4 photos.

A couple of weeks ago, I found something special at the farmer’s market. I heard a cat calling to me, and then spotted this 5-month-old kitten coming my way from across the street. He just missed being hit by a pick-up truck. No one claimed him, so I took him to an animal shelter. They … Continue reading

Glimpsing a buck in our back yard

When we moved into our home, there was no fence around the property. We knew we wanted dogs, and that we wanted to keep coyotes out. So we put up a six-foot chain link fence. There was a well-worn deer path in the back of the property, which we preserved. My husband put out a mineral block. We see does and fawns frequently, but catching sight of a buck is rare.

Please excuse the hazy photography. This photo was taken on a cloudy day, through a plate glass window and using a zoom lens.

One cardinal chick survives a snake

I was busy this morning — forgot that Monday’s my gym day. “Oh well,” I thought, “I’ll do something else that’s physical. I went to the shed and opened a bag of topsoil. I’d walk our half-acre, and fill “ankle breakers.” Ankle-breakers are a hazard of living in the country. Dogs and raccoons dig in … Continue reading