Have you ever spent 30 minutes simply watching pollinators? If not, I highly recommend it. It's calming, it's fun; plus, it puts you in touch with nature at a very basic level.
Better yet, how about spending those 30 minutes (shorter or longer times are fine, too) counting and documenting the numbers and types of pollinators you see for The Great Sunflower Project? If you feel you need a reason to sit and watch your garden visitors, this will give you a purpose and a mission! Citizen science at its best!
The website explains, in detail, how to start, what they want you to track, and how to record it. Five minutes appears to be the minimum time requirement, probably to make the data valid. And you can choose to observe one plant, a grouping of plants, or a larger area. (The plants don't need to be Sunflowers.) Based on my limited experience, it's easier to track activity on one plant or a small grouping of plants.
You don't have to be a pollinator expert! I, certainly, am not. But there are pollinator categories to choose. The project asks you to document as specifically as you can, and to avoid specifics if you aren't sure.
I've reported through the Great Sunflower Project twice--both times last summer. The second time, I chose to watch the same plant for 30 minutes.
I chose Spotted Beebalm (Monarda punctata). In mid- and late summer, we had meadows full of this native wildflower blooming on our property up at our cottage. And they were covered in pollinators of all types--from bees to butterflies to hummingbirds.
After I finished tracking and documenting for the Great Sunflower Project, I took a few photos and captured some video.
Just recently I played around with the video segments to make a very simple presentation to share. Note that the pollinators are flying fast, and this is not fast-motion video. (You can enlarge it by clicking on "full screen" or watch it on YouTube.)
It's just a quick glance to show how the pollinators enjoyed that Monarda punctata. What a joyful sight!
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I'm linking this post with Donna's Seasonal Celebrations at Gardens Eye View. Do head on over to see what other gardeners look forward to in the season ahead.
I'll also link in with Gail's Wildflower Wednesday, which appears on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Check it out!