My Favorite Things about Summer

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Don't you love the beauty of summer? I'm not really fond of the humid heat of summer....but the beauty, yes!

Thought I would show some of my summer favorites:

I love the buzz of my native bees. They are busy making their own kind of quilts. I have leaf cutter bees. The wire around the box is put there to protect the larvae from birds who think they are tasty treats. The non-aggressive, leaf cutter bee lays her eggs in these cells. The females are laid toward the back of the cell. She will place pollen and nectar around the egg. The next egg is positioned closer to the opening of the she gets closer to the opening she lays the male eggs.

The opening is safely closed by a small circle. The circles are cut from leaves and flowers. A pretty amazing bit of work! I always think a full nesting box is lovely!

Here is how my plants look about now.

Have you seen leaves like this in your yard? If so, you probably have these amazing bees too.

How do they cut a perfect circle? I don't know ...but I can tell you I haven't seen one bee with a freezer paper template yet!!!

My Day lilies are a riot of bloom now. I have planted hundreds of these wonders. When I first started buying them they were 50 plants for $50.00 from White Flower Farm. They are a bit more than that now...but still very worth it. Some are fabulous....and some plain janes....but I love them all.

And bestest in the world summer favorite:

It's almost blackberry time. Each morning my husband and I will spend an hour picking out back. I then make jelly and blackberry pies. These are thornless....which is a very good thing, as we have a jungle out there to climb through to pick berries. Last year my husband told me he didn't need yoga classes....he already knew all the moves from picking these berries. I planted them about 20 years ago and they are taking over the back yard.

I hope you have a bit of time to enjoy your summer favorites too!

Until later!



  1. I love seeing your favorite things! It must be something to have blackberry plants that you planted 20 years ago. Now that's a history in a house! We've lived in ours 15. (BTW, I used to live in Kansas, and I don't remember it being hot and humid. Try living in New York! :D )

  2. I remember seeing that picture in one of your books. Do you make the home for the bees or do they build them? They really are amazing creatures.

  3. How wonderful to happen on your post for sweetly reminded me of my grandfather who raised honey bees when I was a child. I was always so fascinated by the buzz around the beehive and seeing him in his full "get-up"...thank you for bringing back such lovely memories!!

    P.S. Through the inspiration of both you and The Sampler Girl, I have begun my own website/blog at!! Thank you ladies, for all you do!!

  4. Hey Girlie!
    When I first saw the image of the bees, I thought it was a quilt...They have a lot in common with quilters, even down to the perfect 'leaf cutouts!'.
    'til next time,
    Barb C.

  5. On the Fourth of July we picked wild blackberries with thorns. At first we thought they were raspberries but we quickly corrected ourselves and enjoyed them. I think we ought to go back to check them again. :-)
    Good for you - we must protect all of our bees, not just the honey bees.

  6. I think I always start out my comments with 'wow', but it is a good word for commenting on your posts. Wow. Those bees are so neat! I honestly don't think I've ever seen a set up for bees like that before--that is too cool. You need to put more bees on your samplers! ;) Your plants and berries are just amazing... you clearly have a green thumb! As I stitch my Berry Time sampler, I will think of these pics and what summer memories they bring with them.

  7. One of the things I miss most about living in England is the blackberries...hedgerow upon hedgerow loaded with them.

  8. Thanks for sharing your favorite things about summer! Oh wonderful blackberries - I have been eating them on my cereal every morning for about two weeks now.

    I love your bee homes. They are such fascinating creatures. Those perfect circles are something else, and I had to laugh when you said they didn't even use a template! I have seen circles out of leaves before, and I bet they were from bees!

  9. Loved reading about your daylilies and your black berries. Our little corner of the world up here in the Pacific Northwest they call black berry jam "black gold"..we live in the national raspberry capital as well. Berries everywhere. After seeng the photo of your vintage quilts of all seasons..hope I got that right I had a major panic attack as it was lost somewhere in my workroom..alas I found it this morning..I have almost all of your books and treasure them one and all. Louise

  10. Oh Alma, your pic's of nature are amazing!! Just beautiful!! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Having once slipped and plunged gracefully into brambles while picking blackberries in my childhood, the thornless version is definitely my favourite!

    No gentle buzzing of bees here, we have the rude racket of cicadas - but that's the sound I associate with summer and I love it.

    I'm with Siobhan: more bees please!

  12. Wow, that is amazing. I have seen holes in some of my leaves like that. I guess they are around here too.

  13. Ummmm! Blackberries, sounds wonderful. CJ ok;-)

  14. The information on bees was very interesting. I too am longing for my first ripe blackberry! Happy Summer!

  15. Hi Alma--oh you cracked me up with the saying about the "circles" and the bees, and them not using freezer paper--way too go!!!! I really enjoyed your blog and learning about the bee's--and the flower pictures are so lovely. When I was little we used to pick all kinds of berries--all had thorns too!!! Have a great day, hugs, just, Di

  16. What an intersting post! I have not seen a bee in a few years...kind of scary that they are in such danger. I love seeing your plants, and knowing they are getting pollinated by the bees!

  17. White Flower Farm is one of the best places to send presents from too!

    We've had many days with 100+ days. I'm looking forward to fall! :) Jo

  18. i love bees too... thats the first time i see a home for bees like that must be very funny to observ..My husband has honey bees and we just took the honey this week end. I've wrote a post on my blog to explain how the honey is extracted..for those who are interested..but it's written in french...; I begin "home sweet home" and have finished my first block : I love this quilt ! Thank you so much for having creatin it !!!

  19. Very neat! I've never seen anything like that.


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