purple puff-balls and their pollinators

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purple puff-balls on the move

The chives are almost done their spring-time race to re-seed themselves – part of what I suspect is a cunning chive-y plan to take over my entire garden. Innocent-looking purple puff-ball tops are threatening to over run the strawberries and basil I planted either side of them.

I have more chives than I could ever expect to use – but that’s okay because the pollinators love their flowers. As I approach the chive domain I can hear the buzz of insects collecting their lunch. A traffic jam of honey bees, bumble bees and mason bees visit flower after flower. Other insects with odd shapes (that are probably bee flies) add even more diversity. One category of visitor is so small and fast I can’t really tell what they look like.

More than once by daughter (two and a half) has followed the buzzy cacophony to the chives. She is fascinated by them. If I look away for a moment, she’ll climb among the chives to get a good look. I love that her curiosity drives her to discover more about the world going on right under our noses – reason enough to spend time in the garden.

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A honey bee collecting pollen (they are hard to take pictures of because they never sit still)

I tell her that the pollinators have important work to do and that she is to look and not touch them (so far she hasn’t been stung). I point out the names of the ones I know – no doubt in a few years she’ll be telling me the names of the rest.

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