Wednesday 11 July 2012

Bees, Trees and Trains.......

 My jumper keeps my body warm but my hands are cold.    Temperatures have dropped and a chilly wind is blowing.
Some of the willows are looking sickly......I must remember to clear the leaves and burn them.   If it is a virus, I do not want it to spread through the garden.
 Bees are dying.......
Late, each evening, I walk the garden and collect stranded bees.    I put them in the shelter of the shed, leave them with honey.   Many have gone back to the garden, looking much happier :)
 Queen of the Prairie is looking beautiful.   The wet conditions do not seem to bother her.    She is slowly creeping through the border.    She is one of my favourite  plants.
A few weeks ago the Golden Arrow went by.   I ran to the end of the garden and managed to get a photograph, you can just see the golden arrow on the front.   People were in carriages having lunch........I was surprised how many waved to me :)   I love old steam trains.   They take me back to a bygone age, they make me smile.     I love the smell of  smoke that remains in the garden long after the train has gone.

The forecast for the next five days is more rain.    I have at last managed to clear the copse.    Overgrown, and full of stinging nettles (as tall as me ), it was not easy, it has taken three days.    I came in yesterday, wet, tired, and with lots of bites and stings.....but the job is done and that makes me feel better.    I am having a quiet day, and taking my parents out to lunch.

I do so hope that those that need rain, it comes soon.   For those in the UK, whose homes have been flooded for the second time in a month, my heart is with you.    


  1. Hi Cheryl I hope that some of your rain is coming south as we really need it! Oh and please send us some chilly air too! I found many stranded bees in flowers too, never thought they could be hungry as I see them inside of flowers, covered with pollen... I try and give water to one, once, thinking she might be choking with all that dry pollen, but then I found her died. How do you feed them? I'd like to save some of them...

    PS: I'm trying everything to leave a comment on your blog, I am Alberto @ Altroverde by the way.

    1. Hi Alberto,

      I wish I could send you rain and cooling breezes :)
      The bees are wet and cold here.....the warmth of the shed and honey often revives them. How do I feed them, I just put a tiny blob of honey on the bloom and leave them. Most of the time, once they warm up, the sip some honey and then fly away.
      Sometimes male bees fall asleep in blooms, they are just having a lazy afternoon in the sunshine.....wouldn't worry too much :)

  2. Hi Cheryl, it really is a difficult time for the bees this year. I often find them sunbathing on the patio, not this year obviously, but in normal summers. I have to move them back onto the flowers, away from my dog. I've told him to leave them alone, but he's very inquisitive.
    I like your Queen of the Prairie. One for my wish list I think. What conditions does it like ?

    1. Hi Crystal,

      Nella now knows that she must not touch the bees....I have to say she is very good. Rabbits are her thing :)
      It is a difficult time for the bees.....I have noticed with the continued wet spell, they are not looking as healthy as they should :(

      Queen of the Prairie likes any soil as long as it is damp. They make quite substantial clumps, I have to say, it is a plant that is quite captivating......

  3. Hi Cheryl, Your Queen of the Prairie is lovely. I assume it is closely related to the wild Meadowsweet?

    I am so sad for the devastation this awful weather has caused our wildlife and of course for the many people affected by flooding. I heard we may not get much change before September!! :-(

    So glad you managed to get to grips with the copse, you deserve your quiet day after that! I hope you and your parents enjoy your meal out.

    1. Hi Jan,

      Yes that is right Jan.....I have native Meadowsweet in the garden, just coming into bloom. I thought it would be lovely to have Queen of the Prairie and Queen of the Meadow alongside each other.

      I really did not want to hear that:( My Mother said today 'This weather won't change till Autumn and then we will have an indian summer.' Looks like she could be right.
      It has been a terrible year for you it makes me sad :(

      I ache today, I left it too long really but with the continous heavy rain I just could not face it. The paths were just overhanging with cut back.

      Tku, had a nice meal with Mum and Dad. Whilst they are both frail they so enjoyed being out :)

  4. Hi Cheryl,

    Like you I worry for the wildlife. Helping the bees is such a beautiful thing to do, you are so thoughtful and aware, if only there were more like you.

    I am supposed to be camping in a couple of weeks though I am getting cold feet about it now!! Today I was out harvesting in the morning but then the rain started, followed by a thunder storm, followed by sunshine, followed by more rain. It really is crazy weather.

    The Queen of the Prairie is such a stunning plant. One for my ever growing 'bigger garden' wish list.
    One day, one day. :)

    1. Hi Lucinda,

      Oh dear, camping. I have done it many times but fortunately in good weather. The weather can change...go for it, as long as you have someone to cuddle up to :)

      There is a storm as I type. Thunder claps echo down the inglenook......I have not seen the bats leaving their roost for weeks, I wonder if they have survived the weeks of rain.

      One day I am sure you will be living your dream.....everything comes to those who wait :)

  5. Hi Cheryl,

    Poor Bees :( It's been a tough year for them; I imagine Bee keepers have been having to supplement their hives... well, that is if the Bees have even been coming out to search for food! I hate to imagine how many hives have been lost. Glad to see I'm not the only one who rescues them :)

    1. Hi Liz,

      I have hardly seen any honey bees, it is just too wet and chilly here for them. I feel the same, cannot go down that route as it makes me feel too sad.......but I am sure you are right many hives have been lost.
      I have always rescued bees, it always makes me smile when I read that you do the same :)

  6. Hi Cheryl,

    This weather pattern is certainly having a devastating effect on all invertebrates but the failure of any Bees is a cause for concern everywhere. Top marks to you for doing your bit to help them.

    I fondly remember standing on the bridges around home as a youngster waiting to be covered in clouds of steam .. not sure Mum was so pleased about the aroma that I took home!!

    After all that hard work ... enjoy your day of relaxation with your nearest and dearest.

    1. Hi Frank,

      I must say I am extremely concerned for the bees and butterflies. They Spring started so well but the last two and half months have taken the toll on numbers here. I had several bees in the shed last night looking very sad. All released this morning and doing fine:)

      Me brother and I did the same thing....lovely to share a memory with you. We are expecting another steam train at the weekend....hope I am around to get an image.
      I seem to be becoming a bit of an anorak :)

  7. I saw a the picture of the Queen in one of your past posts. I just love her too. Unfortunately mine are crispy brown. Being such a tough wildflower I hope that it is just dieing back to the ground and will emerge again when we finally get rain.

    It is difficult for me to imagine so much rain and cold weather. We are to have a chance at some scattered rain friday and saturday. Here is hoping. I hope some of our sunshine and warmth drifts over your way. Too bad we couldn't trade a weeks worth of each other's weather.

    Take care of those scratches and bites. I hope your parents are well and happy. Big hugs, Lisa

    1. Lisa,

      I must at some point show you Queen of the Meadow....our smaller Meadowsweet. She grows alongside the Prairie Queen.

      I wish we could trade.....I seem to have waited so long for the summer and it hasn't arrived. It is going to be a long hard winter in the UK, if Autumn isn't sunny.

      I am taking care of them for sure. I take anti-histamine as I am allergic to stinging nettles and gnat bites.

  8. Hello Cheryl,
    It is so tough for some of the wildlife - one success story in our garden is the number of frogs and toads which we now have, although I do have to keep stopping work to rescue tiny froglets and toads. I love seeing them about.

    Did you feel as though you were acting a scene from 'The Railway Children' when the people on the steam train waved to you! I can imagine how much fun it must have been.

    My young grandson, Harry, loves to hear about the days when I used to travel to school by steam train ... I think he rather imagines something from Thomas the Tank Engine stories though.

    1. Hi Elaine,

      Wonderful to hear you have toads, as well as frogs. I have plenty of frogs but havn't seen a toad for years. Toads are great.

      I love to see the children on the train, they always wave, bless them. Yes indeed, 'The Railway Children' a favourite childhood film. Ha! too funny. My Grandson had a vast collection of Thomas the Tank Engine trains. Now he is nine, he decided to sell them on ebay and made £200.00 How times change :)

  9. As tired as I am of this heat, I think I would be even more tired of day after day of rain, and I, too, feel so bad for those whose homes have been flooded. We desperately need rain, but at least I can drag the hose around and supplement a little.

    The bees are very lucky to have come to a caretaker's garden; I hope they survive the awful summer you have been having. There is a concern about bumblebees here; there are many in my garden, but apparently they are mysteriously on the decline, much as honeybees.

    Glad your parents were able to get out; hope all is well with you!

    1. To be honest Rose I am tired of the rain. You cannot imagine how low it can make you feel. Mr P is having a hard time, he longs for the warm summer days, and they just havn't arrived.
      He has to drive to sites in London, to plan jobs. Each day he gets soaked. Last night my daughter was driving home on one of the major routes M20, and the road was flooded. Rain so heavy she could not see where she was going. When it rains it is just like a monsoon, quite worrying.

      I believe bumbles are in decline worldwide, as are honeybees.....where will it all end, I am not sure.

      I do so hope rain comes to you must be devastating to see surrounding landscape so dry. I hope the crops are okay....many are failing here.

  10. So sorry to hear it is still raining with more in the forecast. What a kind soul you are to rescue the bees. Fingers crossed here for better weather for all of you across the pond.

  11. Dear Cheryl who loves the bees,
    I just came in from the deck my hair rinsed by a morning rain shower. It is heavenly to smell and to be refreshed. I am grateful for the rain....You have been drowned like the bees....oh my! I have been sun dried.
    I love the train....much work when the gardens are overgrown...My Queen of the Prairie has dried up and I think gone....will replant...the prairie butterflies love it!
    Climate change! The 100's are to return tomorrow here...chilly sounds wonderful....
    Balance we both need moderation.....please rain dragons leave Cheryl's garden. Enough!
    Sending sunshine to dry your bones....
    Sherry, who dances with butterflies

  12. What fun to be sitting in a steam train waving to people in their gardens! I would have waved too! I did not think steam trains ran any more.

    I am so sad for your dear bees. How awful that they are dying. Is it the rain? How rewarding for you to help revive them with honey and watch them fly away. I think you are a garden faerie in disguise. They must respond to your gentle touch.

    I cannot imagine stinging nettles as big as you! You must have been so tired and cold after all that gardening. A quiet day sounds heavenly. And I'm glad to hear your parents are well enough to enjoy a lunch-time outing. I hope the rain holds off.

    Your Queen of the Prairie is stunning! Nice to see it look so healthy. Hope the willow is just dry and does not have a virus.
    Sending lots of sunshine your way. It's hot and dry here.