My post-bee attack strategy is to be more aware in the garden. . . It is not a good idea to weed in the evening, after the sun has gone down, but even so, I should've heard the buzzing as the bees went in and out of that hole in the ground. I've been back to the scene of the attack several times, and they are easy to see and hear as they go about their business. I must've been in some kind of Zen meditation state, completely focused on the task at hand (removing the weeds from around the mint), or maybe it was completely the opposite--maybe I wasn't focused inward or outward, maybe I was just being oblivious. . . At any rate, when I work, now, in the garden, I tread more lightly, I listen more intently. . Not only do the birds and insects (and snakes) have a great deal to say, a great deal to teach me, but so do the flowers. . . For many years I thought I had to harvest and sell every bloom in the garden to make a profit. . . I was over-harvesting the flowers to death, literally. There were no seeds to self-seed. Not enough strength to spread. The flowers were trying to tell me this, but I wasn't listening. . . Now when I go into the garden, I stop, look and listen. There are not only warning signs, but so many secrets just waiting to be shared. It is truly a sacred place.
This past week I was weeding in the flower garden one lovely evening, when I heard a little buzz in my ear. I brushed it away, as I would any annoyance, but then numerous stings on my body occurred. My first thought was red ants, but then I saw it was bees. Down my shirt, down my jeans. A planned attack! I must've plunged my weeding tool into their nest in the ground, or damn near it. . . I just read that the best thing to do in case of a bee attack is to run like hell (don't roll around the ground)! Head for the house! That I did, while stripping down. Luckily, there are no neighbors around! They were tenacious little buggers, following me all the way to the house, but, thankfully, none made it inside. Once safe, I assessed the damage--10 stings in all in very painful places. I made a baking soda and water paste and that helped soothe the pain, but not my pride. These little bees had definitely put me in my place! And I also felt bad that I may have destroyed their nest. Every bee is precious these days. They are the world's great pollinators. And Colony Collapse is a real and frightening epidemic. We all have to do what we can to save the bees. So, please, put down the herbicides (and pesticides) and pick up your weeding tool. Just be careful where you dig!
My blogs have been few and far between this past year, but I vow to post more regularly. . . This spring we broke new ground on the flower farm. Fresh earth for happier flowers. But we are planting more and more native perennials so that we don't have to upturn/upset the earth every year. . .Let the flowers and insects and birds do what they do to disseminate the seed. . . Everything seems happier then. . . Though it is nice to have fresh earth to plant on, it has upset the balance of nature around here. . . The mocking birds (cat birds) are not happy at all. . . they are very territorial. They are taking it out on our four cats--dive-bombing them--and taking it out on us--screetching at us. And the deer come out at dusk and look at us in dismay. I believe they are worried that soon we will till all the fields and fence them completely off. . . Nature worries. Have no doubt. Tread lightly. Show respect. We are still learning. . .
It is amazing to me that my last blog was back in April. Although not that amazing, when I think of how busy we were on the flower farm this past season. On top of all the weddings we provided and designed flowers for, our herbal body products really took off. So we were either in the field or kitchen all season long, planting, designing and creating--which I believe we do every day in our minds, manifesting our futures, our destinies. This picture was sent to me recently from a dear friend, and it reminded me that there were two constants in my life as a child: flowers and cats. It seems in all my childhood pictures I am either holding a bouquet of flowers or a cat or two or three. So here I am, now, in my adulthood, living on a flower farm with six (two foster) cats. They say the mind is a dangerous thing. But I say it's a magical thing if we take the time to nurture it properly, pushing out the darkness and letting in the light. This year I am ready for travel, a little more adventure beyond the farm. So please stay tuned. And peace and joy to you all.
Or is it? I have blogged about this before. About the ability of some weeds to so closely imitate the actual flower. This is a picture of False Queen's Lace (Ammi majus), which is the cultivated variety of the native Queen Anne's Lace, which some people refer to as the true weed. . . But mixed in here is False, False Queen Anne's Lace--a weed that resembles False Queen Anne's Lace. Can you tell the difference? I, for one, vote for the native with its center black eye. It is watching us, closely, and probably laughing at our feeble attempts to replicate truth. . .
April is tulip time here on the flower farm. We dig thousands of tulips that we planted in the fall, bulb in all, and store them in our shed until market day. This year they were taller than ever--maybe it was all that snow that blanketed them this winter. . . The flowers bend and sway on their stems like graceful ballerinas performing their spring dance. It makes me smile to think of so many of them putting on their show in so many different homes. It makes me smile, as well, to think of people reading one of my stories that was just published in the spring edition of The Main Street Rag, a literary journal out of Charlotte, NC. I know that people often say they just write for themselves. But, for me, once the setting, the characters, the plot, all the write words. . . are planted. . . I want that story to dance in many homes. I hope you'll enjoy.
I teach Fiction Writing on-line for Union Institute out of Brattleboro, VT and co-own and operate a specialty cut flower farm on the Eastern Shore of MD. I am a published poet and short story writer and am currently in search of a literary agent to represent my first novel, "We Were Here." Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org And please visit our website at Galenablooms.com