Spring has arrived Noordhoek!
While we’re all relieved that the worst drought in South African history (hopefully) lies behind us, with dams filled to over 70%, and while we continue to welcome each drop of rain, many of us were happy to greet the beginning of spring, on 21st September 2018, with a warm and sunny day! Remember, only a few days ago it still snowed on Table Mountain! We’re truly living in stressful, unpredictable times – is it good? Is it bad? Who knows! In any case, an explosion of colours and fragrances in my garden attracts many visitors – four-legged and winged. While I haven’t managed to capture a whole horde of wild porcupines that keep digging for roots and bulbs, leaving a real ‘work of art’ on the lawn, I got a nice shot of this robust buzzing little bugger today:
The carpenter bee (Xylocopa caffra)
The carpenter bee may be mistaken for a bumble bee, but it’s easy to differenciate them as the bumble bee has a rather furry, hairy abdomen with yellow ‘stripes’, while the larger carpenter bee has an almost beetle-like appearance with its shiny black carapace-like abdomen as on this morning’s photo here. They sound like mini-choppers as they shoot around flowering trees – like the beautiful pink keurboom (Virgilia divaricata Adamson & Virgilia oroboides) that I grew from seeds . . . from trees I had grown from seeds years ago . . . the typical passionate gardener’s story . . . and they often bomb into the heavenly plush – but just for some brief moments, before they soar back up into the air.
They are extremely fast and may appear intimidating to some, but these insects are, like all bees, essential pollinators, and rather curious than aggressive. Females do have a stinger, but they only use them if they feel that they are being attacked – like by a bee-eater. Unfortunately, we do have bee-eaters in the garden who are keen on wild honey bee snacks – see more on honey bees in my article on “Learning from Wild Bees”.
Born with Wings – The Immortal Life of Piu Piu
In my visionary fiction novel, Born with Wings, I dedicated a whole chapter to the honey bee, explaining also the risks for the human species should these important, useful and interesting winged beings disappear. Even world-renowned physicist Albert Einstein said, that once the honey bee is gone, the human species would follow within 5 years . . . wherever that may be.
Wherever that may be is actually an interesting topic! Feared and avoided by many, we expand into that intuitive area in a creative way . . . yet, it has been confirmed by countless studies all over the world.
“The soul of man is immortal” ~ Plato
If this topic triggers your curiosity and interest …and if you are a nature lover … do have a look at it by clicking on my book cover. The book comes with a free download of a full-colour photobook for my readers: