For the first time in ages…

Nov 11, 2017 | 1 comment

Fall Garden

It’s Saturday and, for the first time in recent memory, we are home with absolutely no plans and no have-to’s for the entire weekend.  Of course, as might be expected, I’ve already spent an hour catching up with correspondence and trying to book a coffee date for tomorrow and a teeny-tiny meeting with a neighbor for today.  Nature abhors a vacuum and all that.

But, it is really lovely to have a full forty-eight hours to do whatever occurs to us – no appointments to go to, no events to attend, no pressing obligations.  Nyel actually has gone back to bed for a little more shut-eye and I am trying to sort through and prioritize those ever-present projects that have been on the back burner for months.  Some are want-to’s and some were once have-to’s but the passage of time seems to have washed out any urgency I once felt about whatever-they-were.


The garden is calling for clean-up but not so loudly as usual.  Since I heard a KMUN program the other day by a Master Gardener who advised leaving the detritus of fall where it is, I’ve ‘almost’ decided to let nature take its course.  Almost.  I did like her argument about the bees.  Bumblebees, in particular.  Did you know that the queen bumblebee hibernates through the winter?  She burrows under a shallow covering of soil, often under a protective pile of leaves, and there she stays until spring.  (Operative words here:  protective pile of leaves.)

After winter. when she rouses, she will seek out a sufficient place to start her brood in a dry, well-sheltered area that has some shade so the temperature of the colony can be regulated.  The queen will then fertilize her own eggs depending on the needs of the colony (fertilized eggs become female workers and unfertilized eggs become males) and lay them into brood cells where she will feed them nectar and pollen.


In about 4 days the eggs hatch. In the early days of the nest it is estimated that the queen may have to visit as many as 6,000 flowers per day in order to get enough nectar to maintain the heat needed to brood her eggs. And during every foraging trip the brood will cool down, so the trips should be short. This is why it is vital that the nest is located close to rewarding flowers.

But wait!!  Full stop.
At this point, I’m thinking that, while I might not feel compelled to do a fall clean-up, I do have to consider spring blossoms.  Maybe as many as 6,000?  Oh my!  I’ll think about that tomorrow (said Scarlett)… After all, I have the whole weekend.

1 Comment

  1. Caroline Miller

    No, I didn’t, but may consider coming back as a queen bumblbee. I’d love a long nap. Hope you can get one in, too.


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