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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bumble Bee Hotel

Now that the October nights are cool, the Goldenrod Hotel is filling up with overnight guests. When I walk the garden each morning there's condensation on the camera lens, I can see my breath in the air and the Bumbles are hugging tightly to their flowery beds...Soon the sun will warm them and they will be off to work.
They'll dance from aster to aster, goldenrod to goldenrod and back to their nests. All day long, until the sun drops behind the trees, the temperatures cool and they sleep where they land.

There's a passage in To Kill A Mockingbird* that comes to mind when ever I see them asleep:

Boo had drifted to a corner of the room, where he stood with his chin up, peering from a distance at Jem. I took him by the hand, a hand surprisingly warm for its whiteness. I tugged him a little, and he allowed me to lead him to Jem's bed. Dr. Reynolds had made a tent-like arrangement over Jem's arm, to keep the cover off, I guess, and Boo leaned forward and looked over it. An expression of timid curiosity was on his face, as though he had never seen a boy before. His mouth was slightly open, and he looked at Jem from head to foot. Boo's hand came up, but he let it drop to his side. "You can pet him, Mr. Arthur, he's asleep. You couldn't if he was awake, though, he wouldn't let you..." I found myself explaining. "Go ahead." Boo's hand hovered over Jem's head. "Go on, sir, he's asleep." His hand came down lightly on Jem's hair.



So, I gently reach out and touch them...Being ever mindful that they are tiny, precious creatures and like Jem, when awake, they would never let me get this close.

Gail

*Author, Harper Lee~One of my favorite books. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961.

49 comments:

  1. I love the pictures and the imagery. And To Kill a Mockingbird too. :)

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  2. Wonderful description of autumn. And you can never go wrong with a quote from TKM, IMO.

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  3. The quote from To Kill a Mockingbird was oh so appropriate and brought tears to my eyes for many reasons. You would understand. xoxo~~Dee

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  4. Through title, photos, and ending, I love everything about this charming post, Gail.

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  5. Ohhhh. How cute! I havent' found any sleeping in my garden just busy during the day.

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  6. How delightful this post! I just love it. I believe I answered your wedding cake question on my post today. Thank you for the supportive comments, I really don't want to mess up any of the tasks that I have for this big day.

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  7. Poor things. They are so dopey in the morning.

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  8. Gail, I've been tempted to give the odd resting/sleeping bee a little pet after reading in several blogs how you can - and just as I'm about to lean in and give them a little rub, I can hear in the back of my mind the expression "Well, she had it coming."....as I spend the rest of the day with a nice puffy petting finger.B.

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  9. Beautiful quote Gail.....

    I have taught little Poppi to gently stroke the sleeping bumbles.
    It is something I have always done.....it is nice to know you are out there, with a tender touch.

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  10. I often find them still snoozing in the morning when I check the garden. That second shot is so perfect.

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  11. Dear Gail, the passage is wonderful, as are the photos and words of this beautiful post. But I feel that there are two camps of people, those who pet the bees, or want to , and those who would never in a million years do so. I fall into the latter camp. Something about respecting their personal space lurks in my psyche. But I don't judge those who fall into the former camp. :-)
    xxx
    Frances

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  12. Cool! You may be interested in this story from a local blogger and his bees: http://www.yellowfarmhousegarden.com/?p=397. :)

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  13. Great post, Gail! Beautiful photos, too. Very appropriate quoting TKM!!! :)

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  14. I love this post, Gail. Of course, you love bees as much as I do, AND you love To Kill a Mockingbird too! I was busy taking more bee-photos today. Just can't help myself.

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  15. Lovely, Gail....

    It's sleepy bee season, for sure!

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  16. Loved your post! A bumble bee hotel :) ... I have a few of those, too.

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  17. Lovely post, Gail, as always. I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to pet a sleeping bee, but I might like to try... ;)

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  18. My favorite is the last shot, so colorful.

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  19. After the first couple of sentences, I'm not sure if I actually read the rest of the post... or dreamed it! (Had I been sleeping??) ha. Actually, this was a very visual post, both with the photographs and in the telling.

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  20. Hello Gail,

    I love the autumn beauty in your garden and I can almost imagine walking among the goldenrod. I cannot wait until I can see my breath in the mornings....maybe soon :-)

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  21. Ah yes, it is one of my very favorite books, too, Gail. I must have taught To Kill a Mockingbird for 25 years, and yet every year I re-read it with the class, and every year I enjoyed it all over again. I love this scene and afterwards when Scout walks Boo home, crooking her arm in his so that anyone watching will think he is a gentleman escorting her.

    I love your bumblebee hotel, too. I've never pet a bumble before, but perhaps I'll try now.

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  22. A wonderfully sweet, innocent passage from a book that's a favorite of mine too Gail. I love how you connected it with your sleepy bumblebee friends.

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  23. Maybe I can find some sleepy ones in the morning as it's supposed to be around 49º tonight. So far they have been hard at work.
    Love all the pics.

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  24. Ah, yes, I've seen them sleep inside a flower in the early morning. Quite suprising for both of us.

    What a lovely post! Can't wait for my Goldenrod to bloom next year -- just got a few plants.

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  25. Great quote, photos and story. Enjoyed the post.

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  26. Precious Gail! One of my favorite passages too. Lovely photos . . . the bees and butterflies have not been able to sleep outside here of late . . . days and days of needed rain. I imagine they . . . like I . . . could use a day of sun now. ;>)

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  27. Gail - Bumblebees often look sleepy as they bumble around the garden blooms, but your TKM quote shows how our gardens lead us into other worlds and associations.

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  28. Honestly Gail, a day or two ago I was watching the bees sleeping on my blooms and I thought of you--because I remember you mentioning this in another post last year. It is really interesting to watch them in such a sleepy state, although I've never actually tried to touch one! Perhaps I'll give it a try, as they are all over my blooms, drowsy and asleep much of the time--just as you've described. The inclusion of the book passage was a perfect illustration of their behavior right now!

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  29. They've been napping a lot down here on the gaillardias! Lately they've been looking about as tired as I feel...

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  30. Gail, wonderful post. I too have thought about reaching out and stroking one as they lie atop a blossom as if "drunk with nectar", I sometimes say.

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  31. As much as I like to see them and have them around my garden, the only time I'll ever pet one has already happened and it was because of you! :-)

    I've quit seeing the bumbles here and I'm not sure why? I still have quite a few blooms they should like but they've disappeared. We have honeybees and yellow jackets, that's it.
    It sounds like the mornings there have been cooler than the ones here (or maybe I'm just not up as early as you!!)
    Have a great day Gail!

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  32. Ooh, I am so often tempted to pet the bumblebees! I'm impressed that you found a way to do it. Maybe I'll get up the courage to try eventually. Until then I have my 2-year-old daughter to pet :-)

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  33. Every since you have posted about petting the bumblebees, I have been sorely tempted to try it. But I always chicken out!

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  34. Oh, goodness, aren't bumblebees and goldenrods the best?

    I've had such fun this week sharing watching bumblebees with children in school programs -- watching them visit flowers and collect nectar, or stuffing pollen in their pollen baskets, while bending flowers down.

    I always tell the kids that the only thing bumblebees are interested in are flowers!

    Lisa

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  35. I found bumblebees sleeping in my garden last month and thought of you!

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  36. I remember seeing relaxed and peaceful bees on hollyhocks and such in IL, Gail... but the bees in TX seem a lot more jumpy so think no bee-petting will happen here!
    Reread TKM a few months ago. Did you see either of the fairly recent Truman Capote movies? In the one with Philip Seymour Hoffman Nelle Harper Lee was played by Catherine Keener and in Infamous with Toby Jones, Nelle Harper Lee was played by Sandra Bullock.
    I wonder if either of them were like the real Harper Lee was 40 years ago.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  37. I have never tried purposely to touch a bee (although I've bumped into them many times in the garden lol), but they are adorably fuzzy. I've really enjoyed watching the tiny bees that feed on the White Wood Aster by the front porch.

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  38. I love goldenrod. It is such a magnet for all kinds of insects. Great bee pictures and post!

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  39. Hi Gail,
    Sadly, I don't get as many bumble bees in the central city, but have a lot of smaller, unusual bees that visit along with PLENTY of honeybees. I didn't realize they sleep when it gets cooler. I'll be on the look out for these smaller bees sleeping.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

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  40. I love the goldenrod landing pads. I have touched them also.

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  41. I loved that book when I read it in school and should read it again some time. I also love to touch bees when I can get away with it. They are so delightful, especially when sleeping.

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  42. Such a delightful post! I'll be sure to watch for sleeping bees in my gardens. Right now they are as busy as ever.

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  43. Really didn't know they were sleeping. Seen it myself with the cosmos. Now I have to look closer at other flowers.

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  44. Golden slumbers fill your eyes
    Smiles awake you when you rise
    Sleep pretty darling do not cry
    And I will sing a lullabye --- Lennon/McCartney

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  45. Gail, the pairing of Scout's quote and your beautiful photos make this one of the best blog posts I've ever read.

    In my opinion Bumble Bees are the sweetest of all the bees. They remind me of nice old Labrador Retrievers who will not bite children even when they pet them on their teeth.

    When my children were young they thought I was magic because I could pet bees and they wouldn't sting me. The boys are now men but the Bumbles still like to be petted.

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  46. Such wonderful little creatures, the bees.
    This post is a beautiful ode to them, dear Gail, and that gentle quote from "To Kill a Mockingbird" (one of my all time favorites) fits perfectly with your thoughtful words and gorgeous photos.
    Beautifully done!

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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