This was a serendipitous capture … getting the two honey bees in a straight line, and in the same plane of focus. I was photographing a single, pollen-soaked bee when the other entered the frame and queued up behind. Whenever I see bees on a slow approach to sunflowers, I can’t help but think of mother ships and gravitational pull.

Honey Bees Approaching Sunflower

Return to the Mother Ship - ©ingridtaylar

I shot the bee photo in one of Seattle’s vibrant P-Patches, tucked below a pair of 22-foot-tall boots and a 44-foot-wide cowboy hat. Hat ‘n’ Boots, as the sculptures are known, were landmarks at a local gas station before residents rescued, relocated and restored them. My mate Hugh shot the image below with the Olloclip fish-eye lens attached to his iPhone.

Hat ‘n’ Boots

Hat n Boots in Georgetown Seattle Oxbow Park

There are 78 P-Patches in Seattle, covering 44+ acres — a thriving community and topic I’m slowly exploring photographically. This was the first Seattle P-Patch we visited after moving here and, until recently, one of the few we’d meandered through. We stopped for a look after passing the iconic Hat ‘n’ Boots. At that time, we didn’t know about the garden, and found ourselves in the middle of a blackbird flock, picking the remnants from October sunflowers.

Red-winged Blackbird Eating Sunflowers in Seattle

Blackbirds Eating Sunflower Seeds in Seattle

Blackbird Eating Seed

And a few Dark-eyed juncos …

Dark-eyed Junco in Oxbow Park Seattle

The sunflowers I photographed the other day are still a few weeks from the full droop pictured above.

Sunflowers Blue Sky

I plan to make at least one more excursion to see if the blackbirds will be foraging this year. On this past visit, we saw just a few birds, among them this goldfinch catching a breeze on nearby pole.

Goldfinch in Seattle

The P-Patch plots are tended by a diverse and fascinating group of gardeners, a few of whom we’ve met on our forays –all of whom treasure and nurture the products of those efforts. We’ve expanded our historical and cultural knowledge of Seattle through these conversations.

Part of the agreement individual gardeners have with the city is that they offer some of their time, both in the garden and in their community. In 2011, P-Patch gardeners donated 20,809 pounds of fresh produce to Seattle food banks and feeding programs. So, although their gardens, fruits, flowers and vegetables are personal endeavors for their own use — and gorgeous to behold — the gardening commitment extends beyond the personal. And their cultivated plots bring nature, green space, birds and pollinators to the city.

The signage explains the ethic and code of the P-Patch:

So far, this is my favorite. It says it all: