Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, July 1, 2011

Muse Day: The Bee and Lovely Mosquito

Carpenter Bee on Smooth Phlox

 The Bee

  by: Emily Dickinson  (1830-1886)      
Like trains of cars on tracks of plush
    I hear the level bee
    A jar across the flowers   goes,
      Their velvet masonry

Withstands until the sweet assault
    Their chivalry consumes,
    While he, victorious, tilts away
    To vanquish other blooms.

His feet are shod with gauze,
    His helmet is of gold
    His breast, a single onyx
    With chrysoprase, inlaid.

His labor is a chant,
    His idleness a tune;
    Oh, for a bee's experience
    Of clovers and of noon!

Ahh, July!  It's hot/humid and the garden is filled with critters.  Some are  not as wonderful as the bees and butterflies we all love.  I have to wear a mosquito net suit to be outside for very long.  I thought you might also like Doug McCloud's poem Lovely Mosquito. It made me smile!

Lovely mosquito, attacking my arm

As quiet and still as a statue,

Stay right where you are! I'll do you no harm-

I simply desire to pat you.
Just puncture my veins and swallow your fill

For nobody's going to swot you.

Now, lovely mosquito, stay perfectly still-

A SWIPE! and a SPLAT! and I GOT YOU!


Garden Bloggers' Muse Day is brought to you by Carolyn Choi, stop by her blog for links to other bloggers celebrating Muse Day.

This post was written by Gail Eichelberger for my blog Clay and Limestone Copyright 2011.This work protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.


  1. The bees are good...glad we don't have the mosquitoes. Great poetry! :-) I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend. Stay cool!

    BTW -- My critter this week is an itsy bitsy bunny. She practically makes my garden walk with me twice a day getting within reaching distance (but I don't touch). She needs to have more fear as she's getting out from under the cover of the garden and I'm sure the hawk (aka The Red Baron) will zero in on her. I shouldn't care about a little bunny for all the munching they do...but, dang, she's the size of my hand and oh, so cute.

  2. Lovely bee Gail. The mosquitoes are awful here too, though not quite so bad as they were a couple of weeks ago. Time for me to finally get a mosquito net!

  3. Love the poems. We have carpenter bees--and mosquitoes too.

    We, too, have lots and lots of mosquitoes. To brag: I'm one of those lucky people they don't bother too much. Maybe because bitten so much as a child?

  4. You have my sympathies on the mosquitoes! I'm really fortunate to live in an area where we have very few.

    Thanks for the cool poems!

  5. The mosquito poem had me laughing! I'm so glad that here they're only a nuisance for a very short period as our creeks dry up. Thankfully we have lots of bats though to keep their numbers in check!

  6. Emily alwasy knows how to turn a word about nature. The mosquito poem is funny. I wondered what you were up to saying something nice about amosquito.

  7. Love those bees. We have mosquitoes here that have a debate "Should we Eat it here or take it home" as they are so big. Worry about the disease they can carry or cause.

  8. Hi Gail,
    I loved both poems a lot! Thanks for posting.
    I had never heard of a poem about mosquitoes...I had six on the back of my leg today. Yes, a fine poem with a wonderful ending. I only want to pat you! ha ha
    David/ Tropical Texana

  9. Ha,ha, a "lovely" mosquito indeed:) I've grown to enjoy and be fascinated by so many insects, but mosquitos will never be one I enjoy. Another on my "swat list"--the Japanese beetles; I just spent some time this morning picking them off the roses and drowning them.

    I've never read this poem by Emily before--lovely!

  10. When I was young, we would try to make a game and see who could kill 7 mosquitoes in one swat. Most times, I didn't get all 7, but some times I did! That's a lot of mosquitoes!

  11. Lovely mosquito...isn't that like a oxymoron ? ha
    Cute post. Enjoy the weekend.

  12. How I sympathise, having just got back from Scotland where midges are a real problem, gardeners there wear netting to stay safe. We take Vitamin B tablets, and they don't seem to bother us now, maybe we taste like a carrot !!! Don't know if this will work with your mosquitoes but it might be worth a try !

  13. Gail, love the poems. I'm going to have to break down and get a net suit for gardening next year...wonder if I could wear it running too?

    Xxoo Lynn

  14. Great poems, Gail --
    We're suffering with those darn Asian mosquitoes currently. They're the black and white spotted ones that breed in less than a teaspoon of water and fly during the day. Yuck.


  15. Lovely Gail . . . Emily would have been charmed by your Bee and flower portraits. Great poem too. ;>)


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson