Here are two of my favorite things: honey bees and lavender.
July 18, 2019
We still have a few late-blooming stalks of lavender (this photo was taken a couple summers ago), but not a lot of bees around. Which is why I was surprised over the weekend while reading outside on a bench I’d pushed up against the side of the house to avoid the wind. Surrounded by concrete and brick, engrossed in the pages, I became aware of a faint buzzing that got louder and louder. A honey bee flew next to my outstretched leg before landing on my arm and then my chest. After a brief pause there, it flew to my collar. Much closer to my ear (bzzzz bzzzz ). And face.
Bees fascinate me more than freak me out, however, I admit to feeling a bit nervous about this buzzing visitor. Still, I maintained my calm, congratulating myself on the chill attitude. Until . . . the honey bee moved down to the end of my sleeve and crawled in my sleeve. Chill attitude officially over! I shrieked and shook my arm to dislodge the bee, which seemed to take forever due to the layers I wore.
When the bee safely flew away-away, I chided myself for panicking. And then I remembered the terrifying bees-in-clothing experience I had years ago, and cut myself slack.
Fortunately, this latest bee interaction was entirely friendly and bees still rank among my very favorite things.
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.
Hidden bee in lavender. July 16, 2016.
We’re months away from lavender blooming in our yard, but just looking at this photo brings calm. And when I breathe deeply, I can almost smell the flowers.
Must remember to breathe . . .
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.
Today, I didn’t share.
Zippy and I worked in the front yard for 90 minutes (we’d set a two-hour goal, but gave up after the effing wind blew off my hat one too many times). He deadheaded the blue mist spirea bushes while I dealt with the lavender. WE HAVE SO MUCH LAVENDER.
Lavender in all its summertime glory.
Normally, when I thin plants I put a FREE ad on Craigslist and leave the plants next to the house for people to pick up whenever they can. Today, I couldn’t deal with added layers of decision-making and organization, and tore out a garbage-bag full of run-amok lavender and threw it away. To summarize: I didn’t share plants with other gardeners and I didn’t compost the waste.
If confession is supposed to be so good for the soul, why do I still feel guilty?
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.
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.
Lavender has many medicinal properties. It’s also good for the soul, especially on a gray Sunday afternoon in January. Now if only this post was a scratch-and-sniff.