Profile on a Nanking Cherry

Happy Easter! Irrespective of your religious views – or not – here’s something I’d like to point out: Spring is the time in which our cycle of seasons demonstrates renewal. That just is. Another thing that just is is that every cycle has a nadir (and a zenith). If you think about your life…about your history…about history – you might recognize cycles (and patterns) repeating.

Right now, around the world (and at home – wherever that is), it may seem a little nadir-ey – a little dark. I don’t know how long it will last. But I do know that the natural follow-on to every darkness is a sunrise – a Renaissance.

Prepare and hope. And please don’t invoke Yeats ;).

And today’s bee is gorgeous. Early in her lifecycle. And doing her part.

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Bumble Taking Flight

Been so heavy on honeybees lately that I thought something else was indicated. So I found a bumble from last August. I’m not particularly pleased with the light on this one…or my work in the digital darkroom. But there’s so much detail. From the wings to the eye to the tongue to…lots of everything else. And the composition isn’t terrible. The bee is…as always, beautiful.

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement through email and elsewhere. It’s a weird time – unprecedented in my years on the planet – so many things have changed – and expectations have been upended. My trajectory for the summer and perhaps otherwise has been drastically altered. Hard to know what to do and how to think about it. I’m sure others are very much in the same boat. And so many with consequences orders of magnitude of orders of magnitude more worrisome than mine.

We are, at our animal essence, fight or flight creatures. This lockdown is so contrary to our natures in that we may neither fight nor flee – but are told to, effectively, cower in place. Often, in times of crisis (if we’re so configured), we can step up and make a difference – grab the chainsaw and help neighbors with downed trees…take a carload of food to the homeless shelter…care for the elderly and sick…any number of other things depending on the needs of whatever our orbit encompasses. But not so here. To deny the ability to fight or flee or assist (generally – the ways are drastically minimized) is almost dehumanizing at its core. I have no wisdom apart from this: when it’s time, reclaim the essential that is now forbidden or discouraged. Refuse to accept a reshaping of your humanity.

In the meantime, I guess, find those moments of joy. And note that the bees are continuing to do what they do.

And forgive my yammering. But I believe strongly that we’re all duty-bound to chronicle our interactions with the world in our own ways. This medium is mine.

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That Blue Pollen Bucket

Honeybee on a Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica)

Got lucky today being able to do what I mentioned yesterday – that is, find a bee on a Squill and show the blue pollen. Not the best pic of the flower, but if you look close, you can see that the pollen on the anthers is a neat blue color…and that she’s been harvesting it. Watch through the spring and the summer how the color (and size) of the pollen varies from flower to flower.

The honey we get from our foster hives is interesting, too. In the spring, it’s a very light amber. In the fall it’s dark…almost opaque. And has a different taste (both are fantastic).

A few more of this series coming later. I really enjoy that blue pollen.

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