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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Birds, Bees and their knees

Now that I've been talking about the knees of birds, I found some interesting information and diagrams on this site.

To keep their centre of balance when walking birds have evolved to have their equivalent of our thigh held permanently close to the body. The leg does not start to extend out from the body until after the knee joint which is never seen**. The backward bending leg joint that you see in bird's legs when they are walking is the equivalent of our ankle. A bird's foot is the equivalent of the tips of our toes. Thus the part of a bird's leg that looks like its shin is actually the equivalent of the arch of our foot.

**As we have seen, Seagull knees are visible.

As for the expression Bee's knees ~

Somewhere else I found this: Bees do have segmented legs, consisting of parts called a coax, a trochanter, a femur, a tibia and a tarsus, the joints between which must be considered to be 'knees'.


This is one of the dozy bees I've seen stumbling about after bumbling around the purple crocus pollen.

My first open daffodil was looking prettier than ever today:

I found my first Grape Hyacinth of the year:


and sweet Violets:

More buds opening on the Rhodo:


Shoots coming up from a Peony I planted last fall:


and two birds in a tree next door ~ I think, because of the pinkish hue on the bird at the right, these two might be a pair of House Finch.


All photos taken today were from my front and back garden, as I am not ready to wander far as yet.

After checking Nic's photos and video link, I see that a Heron sports visible knees too! If you haven't already, please check out his remarkable photos.


  1. Housemaid's Knee eh? It feels a bit strange when Doctors tell you you have an 'old fashioned' problem :) I love that you used your pink knee as a collage background :)
    Our Grape Hyacinths are out too. I love the colour but the foliage always seems a bit limp? Your daffodil is beautiful.
    Hope the knee improves soon - Mo

  2. A great shame you are not venturing far but at least with it being Spring ou have a wealth of colour on your doorstep. Love the flowers you have chosen - we have the same in our garden - a lovely time.
    Take care with your knee. Dxx

  3. An most interesting, and informative, post!
    Good to know that there's plenty for you to see on your own doorstep as shown in your terrific photos.
    I like the new header! Flighty xx

  4. Wonderful scenes of spring and very interesting about birds' leg construction :-) Your daff is gorgeous indeed. Hurray for your peony! And I just noticed that my peony shot up about a foot in the last week or so.

  5. Hi Mo ~ Yes, Housemaid's Knee, indeed! I wonder what they did for it in the old days ~ I hope they all didn't become infected like mine! Thanks for liking the pink knee background ~ kind of a warped sense of humour I have at times, but it helps :) Thanks re the daffodil. It's the only one yet to bloom so it gets its photo taken everyday!

    I found it a little easier to get around today, so hopefully it's on the mend. I see my Dr. on Tuesday.

    Hi Denise ~ I am so happy that it's been fairly nice outside and that I'm able to walk (or hobble) around the front and back. It's interesting to see the same kind of flowers springing up in many parts of the world. I love Spring! Now I just need some spring in my step, and all will be well! Thanks for your good wishes.

    Hi Flighty ~ Glad you found the post interesting ~ who knew that a bird's legs could be so fascinating. Thank goodness I have something bright and cheery to look at and that the weather has warmed up. I changed the header because the brilliant sunset was reminding me of my inflamed knee! ;)

  6. Hi Nikki ~ Thanks and glad you enjoyed the photos and bird info :) Good to hear your peony is coming along really well! I have one mature peony and planted two last fall, and luckily put a tomato cage over each of them to remind me where they were!

  7. Great bee pic Glo! My sweet violets are coming into flower, but the rhodo will be a little behind yours. x

  8. Hi Louise ~ Thanks re the bee. It wasn't moving much after its forage into the crocuses, and it just looked sacked out :) Violets are so pretty and have a such a romantic connection.

    This rhodo is an early flowering one ~ most of the others will take some time to blossom.