It was 50 degrees today, and I saw two bees buzz by my face—one was a bumble bee and one was a smaller one, but not a honeybee. I had just put up a mason bee house (picture one). It’s for our native bees who lay their eggs in tubes. You place it 5 ft from the ground facing East and hopefully some bees make their home with you. It helps to provide nectar flowers for them.
Picture two is a birdbath for insects as well. It has atheneum steps for bugs to drink without drowning! Behind it is a recycling bin I use to grow vegetables. I’m noticing its bulging sides—the soil seems to have frozen and I hope it doesn’t crack!
Picture three is the sugar water I ran inside to make when I saw the two bees. I just mixed some sugar into hot water and added some cold water to temper it. I certainly have no nectar flowers blooming, so this is the next best thing I can offer. The only thing I can think of that is blooming now is the spring-blooming witch hazel. Hamamelis...something. Not virginiana, because that’s our native one that blooms in November (great for late pollinators). The spring blooming one is not native, but might be worth including in your yard for these early insects. It can grow into a small tree but will stay a large shrub if you cut it often.
In other news, something has made its home under our shed, and another something dug tunnels in our compost pile. The last thing that made a home under our shed was promptly eaten by a fox. I saw the fox walk away chewing something. Unfortunately, two foxes have been killed in the road near us.
And a bird excreted a favor for me on the impromptu birdbath I made. (The bowl of it was frozen to the ground—whoops.) I genuinely think there are more birds visiting our yard this year. Last year I remember lamenting that no birds stopped, save for the pair that nests in the spruce out front each year.