I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I was very happy to be blasted out of bed shortly after 5 a.m. by very loud thunder. When I looked out the window, the rain garden had plenty of puddling in it, so it was doing its job keeping at least some of the rain from running off down the sidewalk and into the overtaxed storm drains.
By 8 a.m., the silver maple had stopped dripping enough that I could walk around and enjoy my second cup of coffee. The hydrangeas looked terrific. Looking more closely, I realized that a month with many more promises of rain than actual rain had taken its toll. The flowers heads are smaller than usual, and the individual flowers are quite a bit smaller, but the green of the leaves was already shifting from that piny, water-stressed blue green to a much brighter and greener green.
Annabelle does not attract bees, but oakleaf hydrangea does, and by midday, it was abuzz. What we see as the flowers—the showy four-petalled wonders—are of no interest to honeybees, but all that wild fluff beneath is—and there were more honeybees than I have seen at one time for years. Very heartening. However, you can see there was also an unwelcome guest, a Japanese beetle.
This is one of the things I love about having flower beds. The bees are up where we can keep eyes on each other, and they are happy because they are busy. Happy bees don’t sting.
I’ve never seen honeybees on my echinacea before, but they were there today.
The bumblebees were also out, but they were focussing on roses today.
The morning rain was a relief to everyone, but the cold front still hadn’t come through—it was a relatively steamy afternoon. Fortunately, we had more rain by dinner. It was raining heavily enough that I took these photos through the front parlor window.
The rain garden had extensive puddling again.
P.S. I did hunt down the Japanese beetles and dispatch them in a recycled plastic bag after spotting that one on the hydrangea. There were not too many, yet, but they were doing what beetles do when they are not eating.