Desert Broom

Cowles Mountain trail
Cowles Mountain trail

I’m back. I spent a few days in San Diego visiting family, traipsing about, and of course–bee hunting. Are you surprised?

The first place I found bees was on this trail to Cowles Mountain. It’s not exactly Everest, but I grew up just down the hill from here, and the silhouette of that peak haunts my memories.  So I felt a bit foolish that I had never ventured up this trail until last week. And I didn’t even know the name of a familiar, beautiful shrub by the roads and on the hillsides, bearing sprays of beautiful, sweet-smelling white flowers. (That’s one to the right of the sign, at the level of “Pyle’s Peak”.)

Well, it’s called Desert Broom, and the bees love it.

Honeybee on desert broom
Honeybee on desert broom

There were lots of honeybees, at least three or four wherever I looked. There must be a feral hive or two up there.

Gray bee on desert broom
Gray bee on desert broom

There was a strikingly handsome gray bee. I’m going to be brave and guess that it’s a long-horned bee. Its shaggy legs remind me of the black Melissodes.

Mystery bug on desert broom
Mystery bug on desert broom

And there was a teeny tiny bright yellow bug, so small I didn’t even see its colors until I uploaded the photos. I suppose it could be a wasp or a fly, but I’ve been fooled before.

No bumbles!


3 thoughts on “Desert Broom

  1. Welcome back. Check out the wikipedia article on Cowles Mountain:

    “Cowles Mountain is a granite dome that pushed up through the Cretaceous and Tertiary sedimentary cover…”

    My mental image of you now has you standing in the vicinity of the North Pole wearing beekeeper garb, while a row of Tyrannosaurs riverdance in front of a conga line of Triceratops. Off in the distance, the track of the Chicxulub meteor makes a momentary flash…

    I think I should stop chewing catnip at bedtime.

  2. Thanks!

    That granite dome sounds like typical Southern California geology. And the cool part is that the rocks aren’t all covered up with plants and stuff.

    As for that mental image, it never ceases to amaze me what people will read into what I read. May I suggest chamomile tea?

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