1150. Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers. ~Ray Bradbury

How doth the little busy Bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From ev’ry op’ning flow’r!
~Isaac Watts

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When I add a spoon of honey to my tea, I give thanks to a dozen bees for the work of their whole lives. When my finger sweeps the final drop of sweetness from the jar, I know we’ve enjoyed the nectar from over a million flowers. This is what honey is: the souls of flowers, a food to please the gods. Honeyeaters know that to have a joyful heart one must live life like the bees, sipping the sweet nectar from each moment as it blooms. And Life, like the world of honey, has its enchantments and stings…. ~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff

Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. ~Proverbs 24:13  ✝

II

**Images of bees nectaring on poppy and rose taken in my yard.

1022. While it robs them of life, it tears away the veil and reveals the golden gem of beauty and sweetness. ~Northern Advocate

The death-glow always beautifies anything
that wears the trace of beauty ere it goes back to nothingness.
We do not understand the secret of this principle,
yet we know that it is some law of the infinite mind.
~Northern Advocate

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Threads, filaments, silken strands holding to the past and yet releasing the future in the air. The amazing looking objects in the photos above and below are seed pods from a milkweed (Asclepias) plant. Asclepias species produce some of the most complex flowers in the plant kingdom, and they are an important nectar source for native bees, wasps, and other nectar-seeking insects. Asclepias species produce their seeds in follicles, and the seeds, which are arranged in overlapping rows, bear a cluster white, silky, filament-like hairs known as the coma (often referred to by other names such as pappus, “floss”, “plume”, or “silk”). The follicles ripen and split open, and the seeds, each carried by its coma, are blown by the wind. Milkweed is an essential larval host plant for the Monarch Butterfly which is why I have grown some in my garden for the last two years. Endangered Monarchs must pass through the “Texas funnel” coming and going on their epic migration to and from Canada to their roosting grounds in Michoacán, Mexico, in the spring and fall, and so Texas has been deemed critically important to the health of these beautiful and unique butterflies, threatened by the loss of habitats. But why should I bring this up now at the end of the year since we won’t see butterflies for months to come? Because it shows that though winter is an ending, it’s important to remember that it is the first season of the new year and so it is a beginning as well. Not only that but when all seems drab and lackluster, one who looks carefully can find great beauty even in the dying of the past.

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We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. ~Romans 6:4  ✝

**Images via Pinterest.

912. No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night. ~Elie Wiesel

Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest,
to be completely present to the moment,
to taste the here and now, to be where we are.
Help us then, Lord, to be patient and
trust that the treasure we look for is hidden
in the holy ground on which we stand
and apparent even in the absence of light.
~Edited and adapted excerpt by
Henri Nouwen

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O, Ancient of Days, as daylight splits the veil of night, I praise Your holy name and wonder if you come to my garden still. If you do, do you come only in the early hours as I sensed at dawn today? Or do you come as well at dusk when light bedecks, with a touch of quicksilver sparkle, only the very tops of things making out of ordinary beauty that which is extraordinary? Is it in praise of your divine glory that the birds linger and chatter before their daytime forays and then again as they return at day’s end to find rest for the night? Are the gentle breezes I feel upon my face your very breath and the flowers I see fallen jewels from your holy crown? Do the bees and butterflies yet nectar in autumn to guarantee Eden’s resurrection after winter’s wrath consumes them. O, God, I want to know more of you and do believe you are here with me always; for if not on the lawn, I find your footprints upon my heart.

Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ~Hebrews 4:16  ✝

**Image of titmouse and autumn berries via Pinterest

846. Light shot through diaphanous wings; its long beak dipped in the flower of life’s sweet nectar… ~Excerpt from a poem by Laurence Overmire

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A hummingbird in magic play
Appears to you this summer’s day.
Turquoise shades against the sky
Shimmer as it flutters by.

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The sweetness of its beauty sings
Through rapid dance of tiny wings
On a random path of mystery
In brilliant, balanced harmony.

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Gracefully it hovers there
In front of you atop the air.
Hold out arm and it will land
Upon the softness of your hand.
~Edited poem by Edna Whitney

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From scarlet to dusty gold,
to yellow flames,
to the rare
ashen emerald,
to the orange and black velvet
of our girdle gilded by sunflowers,
to the sketch
like
amber thorns,
your Epiphany,
little supreme being,
you are a miracle…
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Pablo Neruda

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The weeds are gone! The weeds are gone! At long last the freakin’ weeds are GONE! (Well at least for the moment anyway.) When I had my meltdown earlier this week and decided to take a break from just about everything, I also decided to hire someone to come finish the weeding. And then as luck would have it, a cool front blew in two nights ago and dropped our temperature to 66. The next day we had a cloud cover all day, and though it brought only a smidgen of rain, it kept the day’s high in the low 70‘s. What an unexpected blessing that was! It was enough of a hint of autumn’s coming to begin lifting me out of the grumpy doldrums. So I spent the whole day pottering around the yard. In fact I overdid it a tad; well actually it was more than a tad, because I’ve had to pay the piper today. But the price of these aches and pains have not exceeded the joy; that’s for sure. And I happy to report that along with me, my little hummers (like the ones in the photos) have been dancing. Have you? I hope so.

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago. ~Psalm 77:11  ✝

Images via Pinterest

833. The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it. ~Jacques Yves Cousteau

The careful insect ‘midst his works I view,
Now from the flowers exhaust the fragrant dew,
With golden treasures load his little thighs,
And steer his distant journey through the skies.
~John Gay

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“Veiled in this fragile filigree of wax is the essence of sunshine, golden and limpid, tasting of grassy meadows, mountain wildflowers, lavishly blooming orange trees, or scrubby desert weeds. Honey, even more than wine, is a reflection of place. If the process of grape to glass is alchemy, then the trail from blossom to bottle is one of reflection. The nectar collected by the bee is the spirit and sap of the plant, its sweetest juice. Honey is the flower transmuted, its scent and beauty transformed into aroma and taste.” ~Stephanie Rosenbaum

The bees’ rhythms may be heard only by petaled ears, but the hum of the bee is sweet music to the gardener’s ears for the “wonder at it” divvies up its humming happiness and the honey it makes renders the taste of the fragrant flower’s sweetness.

Eat honey, my child, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. ~Proverbs 24:13  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

673. Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

There be delights that will fetch the day about
from sun to sun and rock the tedious year
as in a delightful dream …for a garden is Arcady
(a region of rural simplicity and contentment)
brought home.  It is man’s bit of gaudy
make-believe – his well-disguised fiction
of an unvexed Paradise – a world where
gayety knows no eclipse…
~Edited lines by John D. Sedding

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Shhhhhhh! Do you hear it? Okay, okay, try again. Listen carefully! Did you hear something this time? Did you? If not, did you see anything different? Surely with the vernal equinox only 4 days away, you’ve heard and seen the come-hither voice of springtime and the early signs of it that daily grow more visible and audible. In my yard and elsewhere birds are aflutter and atwitter as they bring nesting materials to birdhouses; colorful crocuses, upright and abloom, chant lovely, little ditties; green perennials whisper quiet anthems as they rise from wombs beneath the soil in search of light and warmth; iris spears that were cut back in the fall now stand tall again offering up gladsome refrains; busy, buzzing bees scurry about in search of nectar and pollen; swelling buds on cherry trees whisper pretty, pink ballads; and on and on go the sights and sounds that make the human heart leap as the faithful promise of Spring materializes once more.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. ~Psalm 6:11   ✝

463. I sit here transfixed, bewitched by the dragonfly stealing nectar’s kiss. ~Georgina Blankscreen

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In The Flutter Of Gossamer Wings

When the ire of Nature changes to Summer
and flowery blankets are lain far and wide,
amidst valleys and meadows I hear a murmur
of that silent flutter called “dragonfly glide.”

On cool crystal air so clean and yet fresh
the arrival of the season fills insect nostrils,
with exotic fragrances that seem to mesh
as over a pond, his thirst it gently fills.

This creature with eyes of 30,000 lenses
with a slender body so fragile and thin,
most excellent a flier he hovers, then senses
to do a round loop-d-loop on wings twin.

And to even fly backwards, oh what a surprise
like a tiny chopper skipping on water’s surface,
and it’s weird that he has those bulging eyes
this dragon called insecta odonata is “boss.”

Comes in many shapes, sizes and odd colors,
flying in such grace on those gossamer wings,
this sleek dragonfly, when seen, my soul stirs
for God in his splendor created such things!
~By Rick Fernandez, Sr.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering and come before Him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. 1 Chronicles 16:29   ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! May I dwell in Your holy presence and praise Your name for all that you have given and done.

**Image of the dragonfly via Pinterest