Author Topic: Busy in the Poppies  (Read 206 times)

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Online The15thMember

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Busy in the Poppies
« on: June 13, 2022, 12:43:20 pm »
My mom planted a patch of poppies in her garden this year, and overnight we had a ton of them open.  The bees were going bonkers on them this morning.  I counted 4 species of bees and 5 species of hover flies.  You could hear the bumbles buzz pollinating too!  They sounded almost like piping queens.
 









I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2022, 12:47:55 pm »
The most interesting hover fly was this one though.  When it flew in I thought, "Why does that bumble bee sound so weird?"  But it wasn't a bumble bee, it was a king of Batesian mimicry!  Look at how closely this fly resembles our Eastern bumble bees and carpenter bees!  It even has a little spot on its back and hair on its legs that look like pollen baskets.  But bees don't sit around on flowers and wash their hands!  :no:  I'm pretty sure the species is Mallota posticata.

When I was researching them, I found out that they lay their eggs in standing water in holes in trees, and their larvae have little tubes that they stick above the water to breathe like a scuba diver! 








I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2022, 12:55:04 pm »
Also, this wasn't on the poppies, but since I had the camera out I took a picture of one of my straw cans that I have up for native bees to nest in.  The masons don't seem to like this can, but there is a little potter wasp who has taken up residence.  You can just see her face back in the straw I have circled.  She sits with her head out a lot of the time, but every time I held the camera up she would scoot back.   


I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Jen

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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2022, 10:51:17 pm »
Just Gorgeous! Now, our town is loaded with golden California poppies, and there is not a bee on one of them.
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2022, 11:19:58 pm »
Just Gorgeous! Now, our town is loaded with golden California poppies, and there is not a bee on one of them.
???  Why not?  My bees seem like they would die of excitement in a town full of poppies. 

Something very interesting by the way, there was one or two poppies open earlier in the week when the bees hadn't found them yet, and they bloomed for about 48 hours before dying.  The blossoms that were open this morning are already completely gone and the seed pods are starting to swell!  That's the difference between pollination and no pollination. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2022, 11:46:45 am »
Great pictures, 15!  Those look like Shirley Poppies aka Flanders Poppies.
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Offline Jen

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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2022, 12:58:00 pm »
"???  Why not? My bees seem like they would die of excitement in a town full of poppies."

15th, Heck if I know! Same with the clover that I've been nurturing in our poor drought ridden state. I've been watering the heck of it all spring and it's growing and blooming great guns... but only 5-6 bees on it once in a while.

Question: if there is no water in the ground, how can the flowers make nectar?





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Online The15thMember

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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2022, 02:10:55 pm »
"???  Why not? My bees seem like they would die of excitement in a town full of poppies."

15th, Heck if I know! Same with the clover that I've been nurturing in our poor drought ridden state. I've been watering the heck of it all spring and it's growing and blooming great guns... but only 5-6 bees on it once in a while.

Question: if there is no water in the ground, how can the flowers make nectar?





Oh, I guess that's a good point.  No water, no nectar, even if there are flowers. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2022, 04:50:14 pm »
Great pictures, 15!  Those look like Shirley Poppies aka Flanders Poppies.
Aren't the Flanders poppies all red?  These are a mix that Mom got from MIgardener a few years back, and unfortunately the packet doesn't say the varieties.  We also have some Hungarian breadseed poppies, but they haven't bloomed yet.     
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2022, 08:35:54 am »
Great pictures, 15!  Those look like Shirley Poppies aka Flanders Poppies.
Aren't the Flanders poppies all red?  These are a mix that Mom got from MIgardener a few years back, and unfortunately the packet doesn't say the varieties.  We also have some Hungarian breadseed poppies, but they haven't bloomed yet.     

I could be wrong.  Some time ago I read that Flanders Poppies were what grew in Flanders Field after WWI.  The land had been bombed and shelled so badly that the spring following armistice the field was covered in poppies. This was part of the inspiration behind the poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae.  The seed that had laid dormant for decades was disturbed and germinated.  I think what is marketed today could be varieties of the original Flanders Poppies.  Either way, your poppies are beautiful.

Offline Jen

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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2022, 11:32:34 am »
Bakers, love that story ~
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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2022, 12:31:37 pm »
I could be wrong.  Some time ago I read that Flanders Poppies were what grew in Flanders Field after WWI.  The land had been bombed and shelled so badly that the spring following armistice the field was covered in poppies. This was part of the inspiration behind the poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae.  The seed that had laid dormant for decades was disturbed and germinated.  I think what is marketed today could be varieties of the original Flanders Poppies.  Either way, your poppies are beautiful.
Bakers, love that story ~
Me too.  We're a homeschool family and I teach literature, and I just covered that poem and the story behind it with my sisters.  The other amazing thing was that John McCrae wrote the poem and then threw it in the trash!  :o  Thankfully a friend of his pulled it, asked if he could keep it, and later had it published. 
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2022, 10:05:02 am »
We have the only WWI memorial in the US right here in Kansas City.  I have been there and they have a whole display on Flanders Fields.  I heard the museum director being interviewed on the radio a few years back.  For what it is worth, he said that poppy seed can remain viable for 90 years.

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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2022, 10:12:02 am »
We have the only WWI memorial in the US right here in Kansas City.  I have been there and they have a whole display on Flanders Fields.  I heard the museum director being interviewed on the radio a few years back.  For what it is worth, he said that poppy seed can remain viable for 90 years.
Wow!  That's incredible!  Both the poppies and that fact that there is only one WWI memorial in the US.  How did that happen?? 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

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Re: Busy in the Poppies
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2022, 11:53:49 am »
https://www.theworldwar.org/explore/our-story
This page gives a brief story about it and there is video of the dedication ceremony.  The short story is that KC and Missouri citizens raised the money to build the memorial.  They also raised the money again in the early 2000's to restore it.  The tower is pretty cool.  You can ride an elevator to the top and view the city.  There is a lot more city now than when it was built.