Morning Bees

This is actually self-portrait #6. I have been trying to figure out how to capture the amazing swarm of honey and bumble bees that visit my weeds each morning as I sit on the porch and practice. Video was the way!

Amaranth is a prolific weed in Phoenix.  It is easy to pull out when it is young, but once it goes to flower it is covered with stalks of prickly flower/seed heads.  The bushes get about five to six feet tall with about the same diameter width.  Weeding them once they are full grown means enduring scratches.

Despite the unpleasantness of dealing with mature amaranth, at TESLI some of the amaranth is left to seed because it supports the ecosystem.  The video shows bees busily harvesting the pollen and the seeds are a welcome treat for the birds.

I think this is a facet of gardening that people miss out on. Many people are focused on production of a crop and/or the garden looking good.  These are not bad choices, but imagine what is possible when you let nature do the work and you can enjoy the co-creation of a balanced ecosystem.  Simple living is about increasing awareness in regards to what our choices create.


AmaranthWhen I got back from California a few of my amaranth weeds had taken over.  They were sporting over six feet tall and just as wide. I had originally let them grow because my rabbits like the greens.  Can’t argue with volunteer fodder.

However, now they were taking over the garden bed and needed to go.  I rushed right in  and started snapping branches.  Then I noticed all the buzzing.  Apparently bunnies aren’t the only ones that like amaranth.  The plain inconspicuous flowers were covered with honey and bumble bees.

Too bad they don’t show up in the picture.  If you look real close you can see a black dot near the top and in the middle.  That would be a bumble bee.  So, the amaranth will get to stay for awhile.  Maybe I’ll even get around to eating some.  The leaves are supposed to be real tasty and the seeds, of course, are an important grain.