Sunday Photos: Cactus, succulent blossoms, & birch leaf




Book Review: “The bee-friendly garden” by Kate Frey and Gretchen LeBruhn

  • Title: The bee-friendly garden
  • Authors: Kate Frey; Gretchen LeBruhn
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press, Berkeley CA: 2016
  • Pages: 214
  • Dimensions: 0.6 x 7.5 x 9 inches (1.5 x 23 x 19 cm)

Summary: In six chapters filled with gorgeous color photos of flowers and bees, Frey and LeBrun explain the importance of bees and the diversity of bee species, introduce a variety of bee-friendly plants, offer advice on garden designs, and provide additional resources to help readers become champions of the bee cause. Includes an appendix of regional plants and an index.

Thoughts: In a few instances the tone of the text seems a bit condescending, as though the authors are writing for a young or naive audience. However, I believe this is simply representative of their desire to share their own enthusiasm for the subject with readers. Overall, the writing is clear, well-organized, and interesting. The authors do a good job of communicating the importance of bees to plants, and also of particular plants to bees. I was not aware, for example, that many species of native bees are very specialized, and rely on only certain types of plants for their food. The photos are excellent, and I would recommend the book on the strength of these alone. However, the written content is also excellent, highly informative, and inspiring.

Especially in my state (California) interest in conscious gardening is on the rise – not least in part due to the extended drought. This book fits right into that trend, and should appeal to both novice and experienced gardeners alike.

Rating: 4.5/5

Note: I received this book from the Blogging For Books project at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

Garden Diversity

I’m always trying to get the perfect bee photo. I have an ok camera, but it’s not a DSLR, so the quality’s not always as good as I’d like.

Honeybees are pretty easy to catch, but getting a good angle can be hard. Bumblebees hardly ever hold still, so they’re more of a challenge.



Sometimes there are other interesting creatures in the flowers as well.


And every once in while, like this morning, there’s something really cool.



Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin #1) (book review)

Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk

Published by CreateSpace, 2013

eBook, paperback, audio: 226 pages

Genre: gay; paranormal; horror; romance

Summary: Percival Endicott Whyborne is a reclusive, sexually repressed comparative philologist working in a museum in the fictional nineteenth-century New England city of Widdershins. When a strange book that appears to be written in cipher is connected with a recent murder, his services are employed by a private detective named Griffin Flaherty, who subsequently drags him out of his shell and into the heart of a dark and, possibly, supernatural mystery. Mummies, a brilliant lady egyptologist, necromancy, and a fledgling romance between the two male leads make this series debut a compelling read.

Thoughts: Widdershins blends romance with flavors of Lovecraftian horror to excellent effect. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing, and look forward to reading more of this series.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥