The Birds and the Bees….

Did I get your attention with the title? I know that you may be expecting something in this blog based on the title, but this really is about the birds and the bees!

So I have, since my retirement, enjoyed not only more writing, and painting, but also have found such joy in simple things. I have a small birdbath in my back yard, and several potted plants whose bottom containers also serve as birdbaths. I have absolutely loved watching all the various birds come and splash enthusiastically, and if I am home that day, I find myself refilling the water frequently. It has been a pleasure to do this….until….

So we, here in California, are in the midst of our summer drought (as well as smoky unhealthy air from all the fires in the state). This leaves not only people suffering, but wildlife as well. It breaks my heart to think about this. It also provides yet more life lessons. Yet again.

As a little girl, I was terrified of bees and would run screaming from any that I saw anywhere around me. It was a pretty irrational fear, as I had never been stung by one (not until a young adult, and although not life threatening, it was unpleasant – but certainly did not warrant the level of fear that arose in me around bees.)

And here I sit, writing at the table, as I look outside at the huge number of honey bees that have taken over the sources of water, especially around the hottest part of the day. The birds do still attempt to approach and do get their baths earlier in the morning, but right now the bees have dominion. And I find myself torn…..I love that the birds bathe and drink the water, but am also more aware these days of the importance of honeybees as well to the environment. I have read that ,indeed, they are endangered and that we need to protect them and encourage their survival in this ever challenging environment and climate. So, it is now time to face my fear, put my money where my mouth is, rise to the challenge and face the bees.

So here I sit, refilling the sources of water so that the bees can also have their fill, (and so that there will also be enough for the birds as well…I still need to figure out if I can do something to better help them co-exist – yet another project that will have more lessons to give, I’m certain – but that is for another post…). I now find myself, since I want to respect as many life forms that I can (I am not sure, however, that I will ever be able to extend this compassion to mosquitoes…..I’m human….)..I find myself going out and finding branches to put in the water so that the bees can find a way to climb out if they go too deeply into the water and become in danger of drowning….and have even taken a twig and extended it to a floundering bee caught in the water and taken it to to safety. I never would have thought this possible. I still, of course, feel some anxiety and trepidation when I venture out among the bees to replenish the water, but am able to talk myself through it (as well as having quite a few conversations with the bees while I am out there, reassuring them that I mean them no harm and hoping that they will extend me the same courtesy and good will.)

Perhaps we can apply this lesson to other fears in life….face them, get to know them, understand where they come from, co-exist with them. Maybe realize that we don’t need to be as afraid as we are…respectfully cautious when needed, yes, but not terrorized…..Maybe we have more courage than we give ourselves credit for? Maybe we can be more than we ever thought possible? Some thoughts and questions we can perhaps let buzz around in our minds….

6 thoughts on “The Birds and the Bees….

  1. My major phobia is/was spiders but after 30-some years of living in Florida, I can peacefully coexist with most spiders, even big ones like the Golden Silk that has spun a huge web outside my bedroom window. I still have my limits though. As long as she stays on her web, we’re good 😉 Mosquitoes … they are the bane of my existence in Florida.

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  2. We agree on the mosquitoes, Marie! I understand about the spiders. I have a special jar in the house that I use to try and get any spider (that has found its way into my house) back outside. If someone were to take a video, I’m sure that there would be peals of laughter at my less than graceful attempt to get the spiders outside safely while holding them as far away from myself as possible!

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  3. I think I would enjoy visiting your garden and maybe you would enjoy my garden. I put seed and water out for the birds, plant flowering plants for butterflies and bees and try to grow herbs and vegetables for our home. Garden feels like a little bit of paradise with all the birds and insects.

    We also have a regular problem here in South Africa, with fires every summer, it’s tragic for the forna and I agree we must do whatever we can to help. We have pretty little blue butterflies that live in the mountain and when we see them in our garden we know there’s a mountain fire somewhere. Take care. Morag

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    1. Thank you….I feel like I’ve just had a lovely glimpse into your garden. I know that I would love it. My garden is a bit on the wilder side, and I love providing water for drinks and baths! I need to get more flowers for the sweet hummingbirds as well.
      I appreciate the sweet connection with you via post this morning. Take good care, stay healthy and safe.

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