Tag Archives: terra cotta

Summertime bird baths

Lichenostomus chrysops -Laguna, New South Wales, Australia -bird bath-8 (1)

Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops) on a bird bath in Laguna, New South Wales, Australia. By Peter Firminger from Wollombi, Australia via Wikimedia Commons

House Sparrows and Mistle Thrushes. By Pauly via Wikimedia Commons

Western Scrub-Jay 8

Western Scrub Jay. By Jessica Merz via Wikimedia Commons

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Make a bumblebee nest from a flower pot

— Last year, I posted this story too late to make a difference, so I promised myself I’d publish it soon enough to be of use this year! Start collecting your dryer lint! A big thank you to Thomas Winther for his links below…

My neighbor, Jean, likes bees and when I am around her, I like to hear of her ‘bee adventures.’ She is also my ‘go-to’ person whenever I have a question about bees. Two years ago, she told me how to make a bumblebee nest using a flower pot. Based on what she said, I immediately started saving dryer lint, which she uses as nesting material inside the upside down pot. Since I posted about toad homes yesterday, this is a natural for today. I saw my first bumblebee quite early in the year and I was surprised to see it, as we’re having the coldest spring here in 55 years. So, as I walked up my stairs to my house on the hill, I nearly ran into a very big bumblebee motoring along slowly over the landing by our mailbox. I nearly ran into it. Then I looked to the left and saw other bees dotted all over the dark pink of the blooming heather. I wrote to Jean right away, asking her when to put out my nest. She said, “Now!” Well, I became ill and wasn’t able to do it then, but can now. I decided to look into the idea a little more and have some lovely sites to direct you toward for particulars. I’ll be reading them, too, as I only know you use an upside down pot and lint for stuffing. What I’ve seen so far looks promising and I am sure there is a bumblebee out there somewhere who will move into the abode I’ve prepared for it. The bumblebee is an important pollinator and its slow sojourns take it over quite a territory. If you want to attract more bumblebees, grow plants they like. Click here to read a great article about gardening for bees that includes a chart telling you which plants attract bees. And what post about bumblebees would be complete without Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”? Below these links is a video of Croatian Maksim Mrvica’s thrilling version!

How to build a bumblebee nest – part 1 – a how-to about building the nest

How to build a bumblebee nest – part 2 – a how-to about nesting material and placing your nest

Plans for bumblebee nestboxes – how to plus diagrams

How to make a bumblebee nest – the BBC gardening site’s how-to

Join our nest box trial… – the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s how-to…includes several types

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National Etruscan Museum’s terra cotta masterpiece

Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, Rome. Detail of clay group with mythological scene from the Theban cycle, from the area of temple A at Pyrgi, mid-fifth century BC. Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Tydeus and Capaneus at the Siege of Thebes” is a temple pediment plaque that was sculpted by a genius: an unknown Etruscan artist. The tale he told through sculpted clay is able to be seen by viewers today, thanks to the monumental effort and dedication required for reconstruction. The high relief plaque illustrates the defeat of Thebes by an army led by seven men, a favorite theme in Etruscan art. Maybe the fact that this treasure has been reconstructed from mere fragments is what is so incredible…. Discovered while ploughing, the pieces were found in a farmer’s field 30 miles from Rome near Caere, an ancient harbour. Dated to 470-460 BCE, the making of the plaque is well-described in a new book called “What Makes a Masterpiece: Artists, Writers and Editors on the World’s Greatest Works of Art.” The plaque once graced the pediment of a temple to the sea goddess Leucothea, a temple so sumptuous it was pillaged for its riches in 384 BCE by Dionysius the Elder, tyrant of Syracuse, according to the book.

After being modeled in terracotta, the plaque was cut in two pieces in order to make transportation to the kiln and firing process easier. It was then fixed to the end of the ridge-pole (columen) of the temple with twelve bronze nails…The high relief is without precedent, and has been modelled entirely by hand, following a preliminary sketch on the surface of the plaque. No one had ever been able to superimpose high-relief terracotta figures so that they could overhang by almost a quarter of their height — a decision that would have involved great difficulties and risks during the firing process. — Giovanni Colonna, What Makes a Masterpiece

Tactical map of the siege of ancient Thebes by Alexander III. Source: Wikimedia Commons

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Make a bumblebee nest from a flower pot

Bumblebee, Bombus pratorum. Source- Wikimedia Commons

Note: Folks, I heard from the author of two of the links below and he informed me that queen bumblebees nest in March and April (see the comments section below). I am glad I reposted this story but will have to wait till then to set my nest out. I can still work on it now to get it ready for next spring, though. — Jan

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My neighbor, Jean, likes bees and when I am around her, I like to hear of her ‘bee adventures.’ She is also my ‘go-to’ person whenever I have a question about bees. Last year, she told me how to make a bumblebee nest using a flower pot. Based on what she said, I immediately started saving dryer lint, which she uses as nesting material inside the upside down pot. Since I posted about toad homes yesterday, this is a natural for today. I saw my first bumblebee quite early in the year and I was surprised to see it, as we’re having the coldest spring here in 55 years. So, as I walked up my stairs to my house on the hill, I nearly ran into a very big bumblebee motoring along slowly over the landing by our mailbox. I nearly ran into it. Then I looked to the left and saw other bees dotted all over the dark pink of the blooming heather. I wrote to Jean right away, asking her when to put out my nest. She said, “Now!” Well, I became ill and wasn’t able to do it then, but can now. I decided to look into the idea a little more and have some lovely sites to direct you toward for particulars. I’ll be reading them, too, as I only know you use an upside down pot and lint for stuffing. What I’ve seen so far looks promising and I am sure there is a bumblebee out there somewhere who will move into the abode I’ve prepared for it. The bumblebee is an important pollinator and its slow sojourns take it over quite a territory. If you want to attract more bumblebees, grow plants they like. Click here to read a great article about gardening for bees that includes a chart telling you which plants attract bees. And what post about bumblebees would be complete without Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”? Below these links is a video of Croatian Maksim Mrvica’s thrilling version!

How to build a bumblebee nest – part 1 – a how-to about building the nest

How to build a bumblebee nest – part 2 – a how-to about nesting material and placing your nest

Plans for bumblebee nestboxes – how to plus diagrams

How to make a bumblebee nest – the BBC gardening site’s how-to

Join our nest box trial… – the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s how-to…includes several types

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