Sunday, April 18, 2010

Busy with bamboo and spring

Tying up some loose ends to be ready for my program on bamboo next weekend has been keeping me busy. Actually, I should say “tucking in loose ends” because one of the things I’m finishing up is sock made with a bamboo merino blend. I’m pretty much ready with 30 packets made up and most of my talk carefully lodged in my head. The program will be at the Illinois Prairie Spinners meeting on Saturday, April 24, which starts at 10 a.m. in the Winfield Library.

My sister-in-laws angora rabbit gave birth to a small litter and here they all are. I love the fawn colored ones but I understand the color lightens up with age, which too bad. Below I have a picture of Alice, the bunny mom. Last time, I showed you Albert and identified him as Alice. I think I have Alice this time.

Spring has kept me busy with eco-friendly planting. We went to the local nursery and came back with some Virginia bluebell and mayapple to plant under a large tree in our yard. I already have some bloodroot growing—which is not only a lovely spring flower but a dyeplant—and some violets who have volunteered for the duty. The backyard is not only pretty but provides some habitat. It was nice to see a newly emerged bumble bee visiting the violets.

Bees are in danger, so we are trying to have as many bee-friendly plants as possible—and for our native bumble bees, this means native plants. We have been removing the builder-grade shrubs from the front of our house and will replace it with a garden of native plants—yellow and purple coneflower, black-eyed susan, and some asters. We have a compass plant coming up there too, and hope to pick up the native variety of bee balm. I also want another blue indigo which has to be the most striking plant I’ve seen.

Though these native plants are going to be planted garden style—neatly that is—they can still help create at least an echo of what once was, enough, at least so that bumble bee’s brood can survive to awaken to another spring. Every little bit helps—or so I hope, though perhaps I am trying to swim upstream against too strong a current. But I plan to keep up the good fight, so maybe there will be something to leave to future generations, human and bee alike.

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