I took this photo a year ago today. As I recall, it was a balmy day filled with bird songs and busy bees. We were in the early days of the pandemic and communing with backyard nature was balm for my soul.
April 27, 2020
Today, plenty of birds are singing on this cool and rainy day. However, the shrub in the photo is behind last year’s schedule –buds still folded up tight –and I’ve yet to see a bee in the yard. We’re still experiencing a global pandemic, but the blooms and bees are on their way. And when they arrive, I’ll be out there again, drinking in all their glory.
I miss the bees and am looking forward to when they return to perform their vital work in my yard. Here’s a little sample of what’s in store for the coming months:
August 4, 2020
Yesterday (March 7!), Zippy removed the lights from the locust tree in our front yard. We’d stopped turning them on several weeks ago but left them wrapped around the trunk. I could lie and say it was because the bulbs provided bits of much-needed color in the brown/gray landscape. Really, it’s because we procrastinate. Either way, now that the holiday lights are gone, I’m ready for spring. Bring on the bees and blooms!
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few. ~ Emily Dickinson
July 18, 2019
While this photo is of a bee and lavender (not clover) in my yard (rather than the prairie), the image still induces a reverie.
Bee and Fern Bush, August 4, 2020
The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them. ~ Saint Francis de Sales
May 16, 2020
Color from the past
warm refuge on this gray day
one poppy two bees
It’s a beautiful day in Colorado on this, my birthday. The snow is melting due to sunshine and a balmy 50 degrees.
August 4, 2020.
Late November always presents a mental health challenge and I struggle to summon the enthusiasm for these days. However, I got up and hoop-danced this morning which felt very good. And, as always, it lifts my spirits to gaze upon a cheery sunflower. This one bloomed several months ago and I award the image bonus points for that busy, busy bee. Happy birthday to me.
Yesterday, Zippy told Wildebeest a story from when we lived in Alaska (before Wildebeest was born). It was a summer night, and Zippy and our dog Packy were out in our large yard where there was a pile of branches and grass clippings left by the previous owners. (We, being basically lazy people, had left it there with the rationale that it provided wildlife habitat). Zippy noticed something white in the branches, something he thought was a volleyball.
He proceeded to poke at the “volleyball” with a stick. (I know, I know. Who arms themselves with a stick when approaching a piece of sports equipment?)
Well, you can guess what happened. BEES!
Zippy yelled, “Run, Packy! Run!” The bees swarmed them as they ran to the safety of the house.*
As I listened to his story, a memory tickled my brain. And then I remembered: Have I Got a Story for You. Read it and weep (with laughter).
*Zippy wasn’t stung and as far as we know, no stingers penetrated Packy’s thick fur.
September 12, 2020
Bee and butterfly
treading lightly on this earth
we could do the same
Earlier this week, I prepared for the coming massive drop in temperature (over 60 degrees in 24 hours) and snowstorm by putting buckets over three of my sedum plants. The sedum had just come into bloom and I couldn’t bear thinking about the bees and butterflies losing that food. While we did lose a huge limb from our red maple, the plants fared better.
September 12, 2020
The sedum survived and my winged friends were out in force today.
(Shout-out to Michelle who would’ve been fifty years old today. She also loved flora and fauna.)
I got out of bed at 7:20 this morning, which is early for me (I know, I know), because I had a call scheduled with my agent to discuss revising my middle grade novel. The good news is that although there’s much work ahead of me, I’m excited about this book again.
Bee on Fern Bush. August 4, 2020
Before the call, I felt zero enthusiasm. I couldn’t imagine how I’d revise this book in a way that would satisfy my agent’s (valid) concerns while remaining true to my vision. Fortunately, my agent has a keen editorial eye and made several excellent suggestions that give me a path forward. I’m so relieved! So happy!
Now, all that’s left to do is the actual work. HA! This busy bee needs to get revising.
I had poppy-envy yesterday as I walked the neighborhood. One yard was filled with happy orange poppies, bouncing in the breeze. Why hadn’t mine bloomed yet?
This morning, I looked out the window and saw two bursts of orange! And when I got closer with my camera, I saw the bees were also celebrating those cheery blooms.
Front yard. May 16, 2020.
Such a nice way to begin my weekend. Wishing everyone a blooming-good day!
I chose to spend much of the day in bed, reading an adult novel (thriller/suspense) that came highly recommended. It made me grumpy for various writing-related reasons (mainly characterization), but I kept reading because I’d already invested so much time in it (I know, I know) but also because I was curious how it would wrap up.
Right after finishing that unsatisfactory book, I got an email with a Subject line that was one of my account passwords. That was disconcerting to see. The email was a threat to blackmail me with video of me pleasuring myself to a porn video unless I bought BitCoin from this Alex fellow. I wasn’t worried about the video, because, well, there isn’t one. I was, however, worried, because the blackmailer had correctly identified one of my passwords. So I then had to spend a whole bunch of time changing passwords on various accounts. I admit to feeling a bit stabby at that point.
And that’s pretty much it for this Saturday.
April 27, 2020.
I spent the majority of this day offline. In the morning, I exercised and then spent the afternoon reading through the second draft of my middle-grade novel while jotting notes to myself. After that, as some kind of misguided reward for my discipline and productivity, I went online for a peek at reality. Oh, my.
Rage. Rage. Rage.
April 27, 2020.
I quickly logged out of Twitter and went outside to calm myself. That’s when I heard a whole lot of buzzing. I grabbed my camera and patio chair, and parked next to one of our shrubs that’s flowering. As the bees buzzed and flew around my head, I achieved my calm.
I highly recommend this remedy.
Blue Mist Spirea. August 31, 2017.
We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.
~ Marcus Aurelius
Needed a bright boost
looked closely at upper left
found a wee bonus.
Hey there, pollen pants
bee who makes my garden grow
many thanks to you.
Just went out on my patio which I mostly avoid because of my overwhelm regarding invasive weeds, cherry tree stump, and the general vibe of gardens run amok. But the anxiety I felt when I saw all the bind weed busily choking out my preferred plants disappeared when I tuned into the buzzzzzzzzz.
Yes, I have a weed issue. However, my gardens are full of bee-butterfly-bird-friendly flowers. And they’re out in force today.
Here is my very favorite bee. This one, unlike the others I photographed, didn’t hide behind the flowers or fly off before I got focused. This bee was very accomodating.
Thank you for coming to my garden, friend.
Because you love all things flora and fauna,
I’m sending you a bee-bejeweled bouquet.
Lots of love and lavender to you on your special day…
As I revise my middle-grade novel, plugging holes and solving plot problems, I’m keeping this sentiment in mind:
Luck is not chance, it’s toil;
fortune’s expensive smile is earned.
~ Emily Dickinson
Honey bees don’t need a pithy quote; they made the connection between luck and toil a looong time ago.
Earth is a flower and it’s pollinating.
~ Neil Young
And I’m especially fond of this honey bee. I first tried photographing the bees and lavender plants in the backyard, but couldn’t get any good shots. Then I came out in the front and found this bee. He didn’t seem quite so busy as the dudes in back.
This guy takes time to savor the nectar.
If bumblebees can defy the laws of physics,**
I should be able to defy the ennui of January.
So here goes:
Look at me!
(Okay, maybe it’s less smile than grimace, but I want a gold star for trying.)
**Brief online research revealed a lack of agreement on this issue.