Delicate Worker

They enchant humans of all ages. A burst of color if you disturb them on a path. The flight from one welcoming blossom to another.

They don’t loiter at their work. Sip. Fly. Land. Sip.

It would be wise for us humans to pause in our own work long enough to notice them. Relax. Let them bring a smile to your face as they dance in the air on a sunny day.

These yellow flowers attracted delicate workers.

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Neighbor’s Favorite

It’s the sort of thing her friends check for each spring.

Did she plant them again? Did last year’s crop reseed?

Either way, we all get an opportunity to enjoy. They begin, like most flowers, as tiny green things testing the spring temperatures. And then, if the spring rains cooperate, enjoy a burst of growth and stretch up, up, up.

Ah, they’ve reached it. Tendrils reach out and wrap around the wrought iron. Leaves expand.  And to the spectators, it appears that overnight the porch railing becomes a living, joyous statement.

Glory not limited to the morning.

 

Home Sweet Hive

Is it a nest? Or a hive?

Layperson that I am, honeybees live in a hive. And others? It’s commonly called a hornet’s nest. And bumblebees “nest” in the ground.

So I was mildly surprised when preparing for this post and came across a more formal definition.

It’s a nest when the bees (any variety) construct it.

It’s a hive when men get involved. The below is a hive – man-made at first, second, and third glance.

Bees collect pollen and make honey to survive the winter (non-growing) season. Man enjoys the taste of honey and has been building hives, collecting the product, and caring for the insects at least back to the Ancient Egyptians.

Modern hives, like those above, use standard sizes and spacing for the frames. This makes the parts inter-changable and harvesting and care easier.

Think you see a lot of bees in the field or orchard or garden near the hive? To my surprise, I learned only 10% of the hive population will be outside at any one time. Think of it! For every bee you see pollinating and collecting — nine more are back at home when they are building the honeycomb, producing honey, and caring for the queen and her thousands of eggs.

Hold with care.

Soft things. Tiny things. Delicate things.

When handed one of the above the natural reaction is to cradle it gently in your hand. You want to be kind. Avoid doing damage.

Consider a bird nest for a moment. They are designed to hold and protect soft, tiny, delicate birds. And while they vary in size, location, and building material, all of the parents are following instinct to do the best for the next generation.

The glass artist has captured the spirit of the nest in the shape of the glass as well as in the careful position in the tree.

Ready for the blue glass birds to move in.

Solemn Experience

Every person’s life is marked by events. The early ones are often controlled by our parents. As we grow and mature, we make more decisions of our own.

As regular readers of this blog are aware, I’m old enough to have experienced many of these “turning points” in my life. They come in both positive and negative varieties.

Recently I was privileged to witness one of these events in the life of a son.

While the ceremony was solemn, the congratulations and handshakes which followed were sincere. I’ll add my private best wishes as he continues to follow the religious path he has chosen.

First Thought

Quick. No serious thought. What’s your reaction to the photo?

When I saw this in person at the Missouri Botanical Garden — the first thing that popped into my mind:

POPCORN!                  You know, on the cob, lightly toasted.

I was wrong. It’s not popcorn at all. And I was a polite guest (I want to be welcome again) and did not nibble.

The name is: Anchomanes hookeri

Unless you live in Tropical Africa (or perhaps another tropical spot) don’t attempt to grow this in your backyard. But if you would happen to get it established, relax, it’s a perennial and will be back year after year.

After Totality

In case you’ve been hibernating — we had a solar eclipse yesterday.

From Oregon to South Carolina, the media this last week or more has been filled with information and advice for viewing. (Wear the special glasses!) Since I happen to live in one of the areas in the direct path of the eclipse, my plans were simple.

From my front door I needed to walk a matter of yards to find a spot on the lawn with a good view. Joined by other residents of my condo, we chatted and traded memories of other, partial, eclipses. The tricky part for me was photographs. Rather than risk the sensor on the camera, I turned around and got images of the shadows.

I have never seen this pattern on my sidewalk near the oak tree before.

This was taken ten minutes or less after totality.

 

One step to success

Are you ambitious?  Do you want to succeed?

Most people I know would answer yes to those questions. A few have achieved it. Others keep striving. And still others don’t recognize it in front of them.

You’ve heard about the steps. Get a good education. Work hard. Pay your dues in time and talent. Sometimes they leave out a step.

Do you enjoy your work?  Can you imagine your life without doing ____?

Today’s glass and steel flower is exactly what you need…

Allow me to introduce PASSION.

Serendipity

One day when I was a young teen, and unacquainted with the title of this piece, I went to the neighbor’s woods.

These woods were close. From our property I crossed one road and one field. Then I was in a patch of woods which included a pond. In the winter I ice skated here. It was a great place to let the imagination fly.

This particular day was in the fall. I’m not certain, but I think I was looking for a frog to take to school. No frogs as I walked all the way around the pond.

But on the way home. Still in the woods, I saw a tree branch hosting hundreds, actually thousands, of Monarch butterflies taking a rest during their migration.

Recently I attended an exhibit at our botanical garden featuring glass sculptures. The artist captured my experience.

Good in Green

We all have our favorite colors. And often they are the ones which look best on us. Perhaps they bring emphasis to eye color. Or compliment a skin tone. And once in a while — they’re just cheerful and fun.

But what if you like a color that does not flatter? Perhaps confine it to an accessory? Or use it around the home. Pick that red you love for an accent pillow. Or a few dishes. Or a piece of artwork.

I like green. And it is one of three or four colors which flatter. But it’s not popular. At least not in the bargain stores where I shop. So I have a few things. And then I fill the house with plants in the winter.

New addition this year. A gift from a relative. In a beautiful green skirt.