My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

ABC Wednesday: Bergamot (+ Bonus Border Collie)

I thought I'd try another fun weekly meme that I've enjoyed on several blogs - ABC Wednesday.

A new round began last week, but no way could I get it together in time to jump in at the beginning with the letter A. So I'll Begin with the next Best thing, the letter B! :-)

Because a Bounty of Blooming Bergamot currently abounds around our place, I photographed a Bunch during a hike earlier this week. So here, for my Blog's celebration of the letter B, are the Best of the Batch...

Wild Bergamot
Monarda menthaefolia
(aka Bee Balm, for two more points!) ;-)

Menthaefolia means "mint-leaved," and Both the leaves and the flower release their sublime spicy-minty fragrance when pinched or crushed. This flower attracts Bees, hummingbirds, and Butterflies and is supposed to improve the health and flavor of tomatoes when planted with them. You may know Bergamot from Earl Grey tea, and in addition to Brewing up a fragrant cup of tea the leaves can also be used for flavoring in cooking, with a taste similar to oregano. The plant also has several medicinal uses, including as an antiseptic.

A large area of them are Blooming in this deep, rich shade

With ABC Wednesday, you can also interpret the weekly prompt with artwork or poetry. While I'm Besotted with photography and am no Bard, for this post I thought I'd pen a silly poem...

I've got no beef,
But Bergamot
I love a lot!

And I really do. From its Bodacious color, to its charming "Bad hair day" looks, to its Brilliant mint Bouquet ~ what's not to love about Bergamot?

And you double the Bliss when you find a rare "double-decker" Bloom...

Looks like a two tiered fountain or wedding cake topper!

Of course with three dogs, I never hike alone, and a furry someone always insinuates themselves into one of my flower photos eventually. This time that furry someone was Willow. Who, as alphabetical luck would have it, is a Border Collie...

A Beauty among Beauties

Actually, BW was also on this particular hike with us Because he's on vacation this week. But although his name Begins with the appropriate letter, he was too Bashful to Be in any photos. Maybe next round!

Update: A few hours after posting this, I went for another hike and got several photos of a Bumblebee on the Bergamot! A Bummer of Bad timing But some pretty Brilliant photos (if I do say so myself, lol), which you can see here.


for more interpretations of this week's letter
from blogs around the world!


  1. Again I'm reminded how extremely clever you are. What a fun fave is that last shot with bonus border collie.
    All this reminds me of our clever variables, dupont combs-flushed or otherwise, and our major project of class prophecy-which unfortunately has disappeared as far as I can tell.
    I had some bee balm for a bit but it was belittled by beetles I believe and because of that, boo-hoo, belongs in the bygone bin of broken garden history. BUT my black eyed Susans are beautiful, babe. Ba ha ha...right back at ya.

  2. what a wonderfully colorful post. And very informative as well.


    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  3. Now that was fun to read.. My knowledge increased to an extent and that is important !!!

    Pheno, ABC wednesday Team

  4. What a lovely, inspiring post. I'm going to research now to see if I can find some bergamot for the garden.
    Most informative - thank you:-)

  5. :) Great use of all those B's and I love the photos and learning all about Bee Balm. I was a florist years ago and though I occasionally used the flower, I had NO idea! I look forward to your C's.

  6. Sue ~ Oh, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! And of course, how could the photo with Willow in it not be our top choice? :-)

    LOL at your little stroll down Memory Lane! :-) I had remembered my comb (and its undignified end), but had forgotten the "DuPont" part of it! Our variables were indeed terribly clever, even if Uncle Tom didn't share our view of them. As for our class prophecy, I remember seeing my copy of it in recent years. I may still have it (if it didn't get tossed in the Great Cull of '11), but it's probably in storage. If I find it one of these days, you want a copy?

    Your use of the letter B was Beyond Brilliant! Bummer about the Bergamot Beetles. And I don't Begrudge you your Black-Eyed Susans, they are Beautiful indeed. (As are all of your flowers!) :-)

    I'll email you this week, I SWEAR it!

    Rog ~ Thank you! Your ABC Wednesday just looked too fun, I couldn't sit idly on the sidelines and let another letter pass me by. :-)

    Pheno ~ I'm glad you enjoyed it and found it fun, and you're right that it's important to learn something new! I've heard if we're paying attention, we'll learn at least three new things every day. Glad to do my part toward that goal! :-)

    jabblog ~ As was yours! And speaking of learning new things every day, I learned from yours that bees don't have ears! That won't stop me from talking to them when they visit my flowers, though. :-) Good luck finding some bergamot for your garden! I can't imagine you won't be successful, and I look forward to enjoying some lovely photos of them on your blog, no doubt being visited by bees and butterflies. (That first bee-in-flight photo on your post today should be in National Geographic magazine or something. It's fantastic!)

    Terrie ~ Thanks so much for stopping by, I'm delighted you enjoyed this post and found it informative! I worked part-time for a while at a florist shop in Texas taking phone orders. Sometimes I had to make recommendations to customers for flowers or houseplants to give as gifts, and I was Boggled {grin} by all the information there was to learn and remember. And I didn't even have to master flower arranging! Sure was a fun place to work though, surrounded by all that beauty and color and fragrance. Did you enjoy being a florist?

    Funny you'd mention looking forward to my C post, because I actually got a wee start on it this morning! I'm looking forward to visiting your blog later today, after I get some chores and a hike with the dogs done before the heat o'the day.

  7. These flowers are awesome. I think a friend gave me one like this just few weeks ago and the deer plucked the flowers and of course the tiny stem were cut off, I was sad. But hoping that next year it will thrive more and that he deer would not come back ^_^ Happy Wednesday!


  8. p.s. Terrie ~ LOL, never mind! I see that I already DID visit your blog! I didn't realize that you were the one who did the ├╝bercool "B" collage! I loved that!

  9. Great photos! And I learned a lot of B words there : ) It's fun reading your blog.

  10. Kim ~ Funny you should mention that the flower your friend gave you that you think was a bergamot was munched by a deer, because pretty much the only critters who DON'T like to eat it is horses ~ yet another nickname for it is "Horsemint!" Go figure. Anyway, we are fortunate enough to have lots of deer here (you can meet several of them in many of my posts!) :-) and as you can see, there is no shortage of bergamot growing all around us. So don't despair! Maybe next time you can plant several more. I find our deer friends will, out of curiosity, nibble anything that's new, even if it's not something they usually eat. So planting several of something usually helps with the attrition. It's nice to be able to enjoy both the flowers and the critters!

    jeng ~ Thank you so much! I had a lot of fun working on this post, so I'm happy that you had fun reading it! And I was amazed at how many B words showed up without my really having to work at it! :-)

  11. Well now you're just showing off with all those B words! Bergamot is lovely, as are your images. And I do like Earl Grey. By the way my sister and Cath actually call me Bee, and when I'm in a bad mood David calls me the Killer Bee!! Had a house viewing this morning, I am now shattered at having to hide so many things in cupboards.

  12. I see today is sponsored by the letter 'B'! I second Susan in saying that you are terribly clever!

    Bee balm is so pretty. Looks like there's no shortage of it in your neck of the woods. Must be lovely to wade though fields of bee balm.

    Willow is a beauty too.

  13. Loved the brilliant way you shared your bounty with us. And of course Willow had to be in shot - to make it (more) beautiful.
    I don't like Earl Grey (is it urine or is it tea?), but love the flower.

  14. Barbara ~ "Well now you're just showing off with all those B words!", said the woman with nearly a dozen beautiful photos of things all beginning with "B" in her post today. You may claim that the fact they all began with B was totally coincidental, but I am more likely to believe Charlie is an amulet-toting angel who rescues lost mice in his free time and returns them safely home. ;-)

    I call BW "Bee," and I love David's nickname for you when you're (no doubt justifiably) out of sorts.

    Yay team, glad you had a showing - but I feel your pain! I hide stuff in the trunk of the car, in the dryer, in various pieces of furniture... and sometimes have a heck of a time remembering where I hid stuff. I still can't find my special computer screen dust rag since the first showing we had 3 months ago! It's a pain. I sure wish you luck, I was thinking about your thatched cottage while we were on our hike today, and hope today's showing results in a closing so you can buy and move into it soon! That would be Bitchin'! :-)

    Rose ~ Aww, thank you! :-)

    It is pretty, and we have a Bumper crop (darn, missed that opportunity in my post! lol) this year. I thought last year was amazing, but with all the seeds from that crop plus all our rain this spring, it's a sea of bergamot out there! We do enjoy wading through big, fragrant areas of it, and did just that on our hike today. And wouldn't you know, I got some fantastic photos of bees on the bergamot this afternoon! I've tried and tried for years now to get decent photos of bees on wildflowers without success. And this afternoon, mere hours after posting my B is for Bergamot post, I get some stunners. Figures! I thought about adding one, but think I'll just save them for a future post where I can share several. But they'd have been perfect for this post!

    Willow says thank you very much. :-)

    Elephant's Child ~ Thank you! And I agree with you, Willow does enhance the beauty of every photograph she puts herself in. :-)

    I'll never think of Earl Grey tea in quite the same way now... tea or pee? LOL

  15. Is this related to the bergamot that is sometimes used in perfume? Like a lot of folks my favorite photo is of Willow. I scrolled down and saw her in her doggles. What a hoot.

    Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment.

  16. Every year I wait for these to bloom because they remind me of Sideshow Bob's hairdo.
    And a Border Collie to make anyone proud--what a beauty!
    p.s. In another life I was born and raised in Idaho.

  17. Oakland D.P. ~ I believe it's one and the same! It has a wonderful fragrance. I just give their leaves or blossom a pinch as I walk by and have that aroma on my fingers for quite a while. Instant aromatherapy on a hike, can't beat that! :-)

    I'm glad Willow's photo is your favorite, she is a special girl and a real delight. She will be all wriggly when I tell her she has a new fan club. Everyone loves Willow, and it boggles the mind that she was abandoned at the animal shelter when she was just 2, and had been there 18 days before we came along. She's been part of our family for 9 years. Aren't those Doggles a hoot? That's actually another of our three dogs, Tess, who's wearing them. She's loves to wear accessories. Our third dog Josie is too cool for everything, and thinks we're all insufferably lame. LOL

    Thank you for returning the favor of a visit and comment.

    Noni ~ Sideshow Bob's hairdo, that's perfect! LOL! Do you know the Long-Plumed Avens (aka "Prairie Smoke") flower? I wait for it to go to seed every year because it reminds me of Don King's hairdo!

    Willow and I both thank you for your lovely compliment. :-)

    Born and raised in ID and now in MN and driving a Zamboni in your dreams... you sound like a true Winter Sprite!

    Thank you for stopping by, Noni!

  18. There is actually a song/ditty titled 'I hate Earl Grey' which includes the lines 'Is it perfume or is it pee?' and "is it urine or is it tea?' Can't remember who the artist(?) was though.
    I am truly sorry if I have tainted your enjoyment though.

  19. E.C. ~ LOL - seriously?! Someone had to really detest Earl Grey tea to go to the trouble to write and record a song about it!

    You didn't taint anything for me, I like Earl Grey tea okay, but rarely drink it. I'm more of a mint tea and green tea kinda girl. :-) But when my friend AdventureJo shows up here, I'm betting she'll be mounting a vigorous defense of Earl Grey - it's her favorite tea! (Her birthday is next Thursday, wonder if I can find the CD with that song on it to give her? LOL - just kiddin'!) :-)

  20. I adore that picture of Willow amongst the flowers. She is quite the beauty!

    I'm just catching up now with my reading and there goes our vegan mind meld thing again. I just did a post with some B's in it yesterday. Rose said something about you doing one, too, and here it is!

  21. Molly ~ Isn't she? She loves to pose among the wildflowers, just like your girls do! (Well, I think Emma likes to, it's hard to tell from her expression sometimes! LOL)

    I'm way behind on some of my blog visits (and ALL of my email, house- and yard work!) I need to get caught up on your blog as soon as I have time. This vegan mind-meld thing is getting out of hand. People who see both our blogs are going to start to either think we're either blatantly plagiarizing each other, or that we're really one person pretending to be two different people in different places (with different husbands and dogs and houses... it would be an elaborate ruse!) ;-)

  22. Ah, lol! Too funny. :)

    We're way behind on some things, too, so I completely understand.

    Oh, and I think Emma definitely likes to have her picture taken, no matter where she is. She's quite the diva. :)

  23. Molly ~ I think Emma loves to have her photo taken too. Probably her sometimes pained expression is entirely due to her having to share the spotlight with her dufous sister. I mean, really. The indignity of having Rowan join her in the wildflower patch, grinning like an imbecile! And having Rowan upstage her during airborne catching exercises. The nerve! LOL

  24. That was Beautiful! The Best photo was the first one - it was not having a Bad hair day!

    Bergamot reminded me of our hike in Boulder because we saw some there and you reminded me that it's scent was familiar to me Because of the Earl Grey tea that I love.

    I had hoped to insinuate more "B" words in my reply But it's hard which makes me all the more impressed By how many you got in there!!!

    Some were pretty clever - like the Bodacious color, Bad hair day and Brilliant Bouquet sentence - very nicely done!

  25. Jo ~ I agree, that Bergamot had obviously just Been to the Beauty parlor for a Brazilian Blowout. LOL

    Yes, I remember engaging in bergamot aromatherapy on that hike, and introducing some fellow hikers to it, too! There were so many comments on this post that you probably didn't have time to read them, but The Elephant's Child (aka "E.C.") and I had a funny exchange just a few comments above this one about Earl Grey tea, in which your name came up. ;-)

    Thanks for being impressed with my swarm of B's! :-)

  26. sonia ~ Willow blushed (well, at least I think she did because she's very modest, but it's hard to tell when one has a furry face! lol) when I read her your latest compliment. She says, "Thank you very much, Aunt Sonia!" :-)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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