1246. If we were but conscious of our own utter littleness, we would not dare look with contempt on the smallest atom in the world. ~Charles Lanman

Clouds of insects danced and buzzed in the sunlight,
and the air was full of the piping of the song-birds.
Long glinting dragon-flies shot across the path, or hung
tremulous with gauzy wings and gleaming bodies.
~Edited excerpt from Arthur Conan Doyle

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Did you know that there’s always a party going on in a backyard. Yes, indeed there is, and the guests frolic on their flooring, the ground, and under the “coffered ceiling” of the sky. Some even “boogie down” underground; thus a lawn, not just the grass, is alive. And the world out there is filled with beasties that buzz, tweet, squawk, flutter, scurry, build, dance, burrow, hoot, chase, pounce, and soar among other things. Not only that but the party goes on 24/7. If you don’t believe me, just step outside sometime, take a look around, and listen.

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Depending upon the season and time of day or night, you might hear a chorus of amphibians, insects a buzzin’, and birds a callin’ or a singin’ or a drummin’. And those noisy birds, for example, just might be a gatherin’ nesting materials, or a feedin’ on berries or insects, or a splashin’ around in a birdbath. Whilst the birds are doing their things, the butterflies and bees might be a fluttterin’ about and a sippin’ on the nectars in flowers. If not that, then you might find a “hophopper” a chowin’ down on a tasty leaf or a dragonfly a skimmin’ across a surface of water. Or you might even find something exotic like my friend in the photos above a lookin’ back at you and gettin’ perturbed because you’re too close to its perch, so close in fact that it raises an arm of warning to scold you. When I find a praying mantis like this one, they are often on a rose bush which is where I found this one. Well actually it was on the trellis where the rose was, but I think he’d made his way from the rose over to it in hopes he could scare off dusk’s unwanted interloper.

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For who scorns the day of small things. ~Excerpt from Zechariah 4:10 ✝

*The collage of praying mantis images at the top created by Natalie from photos via Pinterest

719. His Labor a Chant – his idleness – a Tune – oh, for a Bee’s experience of Clovers and of Noon! ~Emily Dickinson

Give and Take…
For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life
And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love
And to both, the bee and the flower,
The giving and receiving is a need and an ecstasy.
~Kahlil Gibran

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…store of bees, in a dry and warme bee-house
comely made of fir boards to sing and sit,
and feede upon your flowers and sprouts,
make a pleasant noyse and sight.
~William Lawson

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The men of experiment are like the ant;
they only collect and use.
But the bee…gathers its materials
from the flowers of the garden and of the field,
but transforms and digests it
by a power of its own.
~Leonardo da Vinci

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To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee, And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.
~Emily Dickinson

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No matter whether it hops, crawls, runs, wriggles, slithers, swims, flies, buzzes, chirrups, grows from the ground or lives in water, we, mankind, need nature. And those of us who garden know that what we as stewards of Creation must supply feeding stations and safe havens for the bees, the birds, and other wildlife. Therefore our flowers, berries, seed heads, etc. should be free of toxins. And among other things in autumn we need to resist disposing of things like hollow plant stems because tiny bees may be hibernating inside. All this is why years ago I started meeting the requirements for my yard to be certified as a habitat, and now that it is I proudly display my National Federation of Wildlife signs on the gates.

There are so many joyous components that go into what a yard and it flowerbeds and gardens are, and for me the buzz of the bees is one of the most essential of those elements. I love my bees and over the years I have intentionally planted things to attract them, especially after I began reading more and more about the alarming and widespread decline of bee populations as well as the collapse of beehives here in the US and all over the world. For instance, there are places all over our country where too many pesticides have been used over the years and as a result their ecosystems are void of bee populations. That’s why nowadays hives have to be transported from state to state by 18 wheel trucks so that farmers and growers can pollinate pollinate their crops and orchards.

What mankind desperately needs to realize is that should bees completely vanish from planet earth, there would never again be peaches and almonds(two of my favorite foods by the way) and so many other things, things we desperately need and depend on to support human life. So I always advise people who have a growing space to please consider planting things that will invite these amazing creatures to sup at their table. And as for being stung by one, let me just say two things: first, it’s a small price to pay for the preservation of our species; secondly, I have hundreds of bees in my yard, and I walk among daily among flowers to work in the beds or to take photos, and in the 20+ years that I’ve been doing I’ve not been stung once. A couple of times I have gotten a loud, warning buzz, especially when it’s a bumblebee that has been offended by my presence, and I just get up and walk away until the “grumbling bee” moves on. Ya know, now that I think about it, that works well in human relationships too. Hee hee!

Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and you will not be cut off. ~Proverbs 24:14   ✝

**All images via pinterest and the internet; opening collage created by Natalie

617. Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. ~Anne Frank

Life is full of beauty.
Notice it.
Notice the bumble bee, the small child,
and the smiling faces.
Smell the rain, and feel the wind.
~Ashley Smith


Oh, the green, green, green of fresh growing things; the scent, scent, scent of fragrant flowery things; and the buzz, buzz, buzzing of little, busy bees. But wait, wait, wait! Back that “wagon” up and hold on just a minute! It’s still January and therefore wintertime. So what’s up with the green, the flowers, the aromas, and the buzzes? Ah the joyous blessing of a greenhouse filled with thriving, flowering, sweet smelling things! The only downside to such is that the bees seem to think the greenhouse is solely their domain and so object to a human interloper’s pottering visits. But then again, I seem to be developing a history outside the garden of adverse encounters with the wee buzzing folk. In my recent tale about a trip to Paris two years ago, I neglected to mention that on the very first day of our long-longed for visit to that magical city, we got off the metro, walked to the Pont Alexandre, and as we turned to walk on the gorgeously adorned bridge where I would get my first view of some of the city including the Eiffel Tower, I was stung on my face by a bee. But let me assure you that the subsequent outpouring of tears had absolutely nothing to do with the bee’s assault and everything to do with the legendary marvels that now lay before my very own eyes. And ya know, it didn’t stop me from the joy and the journey then and there nor will it keep me from the same in my greenhouse for both were and are filled with unforgettable beauty, fabulous fragrances, breathtaking spectacles, and beguiling allures.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” ~Numbers 6:24-26   ✝

**I took this photo in my greenhouse.  The bee was nectaring on a gorgeous anemone.

452. She told me about rolling hills covered with cornfields and treeless miles of land without water. ~A. LaFaye

I have no hostility to nature,
but a child’s love to it.
I expand and live in
the warm day like corn and melons.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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August is upon us now with its usual dry nastiness and so the “parcels of corn” have indeed become “brown and sere.” Though their yield was harvested some time ago and the plants left to die under the blistering summer sun, I think their golden-brown, curled flag-leaves create a kind of unique beauty. And now that the farmers have begun the process of removing the dry, dead remains, even the barren, stub-filled fields have an intriguing eye-appeal. Although both my parents were raised on farms in farming communities, I had my very first experience with growing a crop like corn a few summers ago when our daughter and her husband decided to sow some corn in their inner city garden. Once the seedlings got going, it seemed like almost every day for a while that the stalks grew taller and taller. Then as the tassels appeared, the stalks began to buzz with the constant hum of more honey bees than I’ve ever seen in a suburban garden. Later on when the pale yellow silks started emerging, our excitement heightened again as the bees buzzed on harvesting the huge amounts of yellowish pollen falling from the floppy tassels. At that point I became so fascinated by the goings on that I went to the internet and was truly dumfounded to read that each piece of pollen that lands on a silk produces only one of the two to four hundred kernels that typically appear on a single ear of corn. How amazing is that! When it was all said and done, not only was their small crop of corn the tastiest any of us had ever eaten, but it also aroused in us and our offspring a sense of respect for the generations of farmers within our family lineage as well as for the ancient civilizations whose cultures had had a marked and ongoing influence on the global landscape. But more than anything, we marveled, as we always do, at the wonders of Creation and its Maker.

May the people praise you, O God; may all the people praise you. Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God will bless us. ~Psalm 67:5-7   ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

6. There is pleasure in the pathless woods. There is rapture in the lonely shore. There is society where none intrudes. ~Lord Byron

She sat down in a weed patch, her elbows on her knees,
and kept her eyes on the small mysterious world of the ground.
In the shade and sun of grass blade forests,
small living things had their metropolis.
~Nancy Price


In and around blossoming things there is another mysterious metropolis.  This one is above the soil, and therein airborne things move around yearning to “possess the sweet of every flower that blooms.”  In that realm two simple equations are in place:  a) if there are no flowers there are no pollinators;  b)  if there are no pollinators there are no flowers, no fruits, no crops.  The hum or buzz of a pollinating agent and a flower’s blooming go hand in hand; together they commit reproductive acts of love as they dance the sacred dance of life orchestrated by the Lord.  In so doing they “remind us that there are other voices, other rhythms, other strivings, and other fulfillments. . .” in God’s grand plan.

Recently in a National Geographic snippet on the internet, the narrator remarked that present-day humanity is the recipient of a 400,000,000 year old legacy bequeathed by earth. Imagine that!  For all those years the sun has not failed to rise and set at its appointed time, fruits and crops have not failed to burst forth and ripen, and the earth has not failed to make its trip around the sun.  One season has followed another repeating the Genesis story over and over again as per the Lord’s plan.  Like the fruits and flowers and pollinators, our time here is very brief, and we who are fashioned by the same holy Hands as the sun and earth are no less adored and significant in our loving Father’s eyes.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. . .  ~Ecclesiastes 3:1   ✝