Bee Update

Last year I talked about the bees fighting and grappling mid-air. I figured it out this year.

Sitting on the back porch of my dad’s house, the bees are out again after winter. There were enough zooming around, I couldn’t get a count. There were two or three hovering at the edge of the porch and 3-5 coming and going. It turns out, it’s all about the birds and bees. Yep, the hovering bees that were grappling with the others are male, they have smaller and more slender abdomens. The ones coming and going from under the wood table are females with larger and rounder abdomens. All the chasing and evading and tumbling to the ground was all about mating.

This was their first time seeing us on the porch and I sat still while they looked me over. These are carpenter bees and totally non aggressive to people, unless you grab or hurt them. Then they can sting multiple times, unlike honeybees. In all the chasing and dodging, they ran into us a couple of times. They are about the size of the end joint of my thumb. you feel it when they hit, but it’s like being hit by a ping pong ball. They bounce right off.

The grackles are also hooking up, a pair of mockingbirds had a tryst in the yaupon holly and swallows are nesting on the front porch. Life is burgeoning in east Texas.


Writing prompt

I have a friend who got a book of writing prompts for Christmas. She put it out on Facebook if you gave her a number, she would give you the prompts on that page. I got three prompts. One of the prompts on my page was to describe one of your family members to a stranger.

I’ve done that already. After I got my dad’s ashes, I found a glass blower who would incorporate some of his ashes into a glass orb. She asked about who he was so she could think about him while she was working. I also had her include some of my mom’s ashes. And I sent her a picture of the two of them.

He was caring, generous, kind. Well read, well educated, open to new ideas, loved
traveling. Everyone who knew him, loved him. He had sometimes a dry humor,
sometimes silly. Music was important to him, he made and played mountain dulcimers. He was the first college graduate of his family. He was called up to the Army and spent time in Germany just after WW2. He was mechanical, I get that from him. He wrote code for the Army when computers were still a new thing. Religion was also deeply important to him. He was a Methodist. He was a Republican, but the party as it was 30 years ago. He was deeply romantic.

Martha was his true love. They had one of those loves that is the stuff of stories. I found the letters they wrote to each other as part of a long distance courtship. I haven’t read them, it seems like an invasion of privacy. She was also well educated, her major was science and that’s what she taught for several years until I came along. Her mother was also a teacher and student of science. They instilled in me a love of nature and being outdoors and wonder of the world. She was of Quaker stock and taught me to treat every one with equal regard and respect regardless of color or belief.

The cruel hands of time

Why take me back
To a better place in time
When I’ll end up again
In a place I don’t want to call mine.
The same choices provide
The same heartbreak
At the cruel hands of time.

If I could fast forward
Through the place where this ends,
Would it be better
When I begin again.
What would I have missed
Lost by the cruel hands of time.

The pieces are still there
But harder and harder to find.
I hate this disease
That wields it’s sword of loss with
The cruel hands of time.

Can I be blamed
For wishing a quick end
To the long goodbye
By the slow cruel hand of time.