I swerved for butterflies today. There are so many, everywhere, drinking from the bluebells, coupling in the greenhouse. I think I avoided most of them on the way to and from town. Next week it should be dragonflies. I keep thinking the dragonflies should be coming out by now. But maybe having July weather in May was deceptive, and they aren't really late at all. Although, not to cheat the dragonflies, but I'm hoping the mosquitos are on their last hurrah, with the lack of rain and moisture, they surely can't keep it up without water for breeding.
Looking out the windows, the woods and banks are lush green. Looking towards the chicken coop I can see a rainbow of laying hens, red, black, brown and buff, as they wander the green banks in search of bugs. This morning I couldn't think of what gives me more satisfaction than opening the doors to let the chickens and ducks out to forage for the day. Then I thought, well, I do love watching my children run around bare foot. They have been going off into the woods exploring together. Avery will follow her older brother anywhere. Often I have to come to the rescue, as she'll get stuck on a bank and can't get down, or amidst some rose or raspberry bushes...
I checked on the bees wearing a bikini and jeans today. I had been in the garden. The hive was temporarily shaded, and I forgot about the mosquitos (in the shade). There is something exhilarating about being in the middle of hundreds of bees, landing on my arms and belly, investigating and then taking off again. Today there were more bees all around the hive, buzzing around, busy, not just going too and fro but around and around. I'm not sure why. I had second thoughts as I lifted the lid, maybe it would be a good time for a suit with such bee action. I smoked them well, and was not stung. Noah watched close up this time wearing my veil. We saw the queen, eggs and larvae. I decided to add the second brood super, so the size of their house is now doubled.
My daughter is now asleep. I am headed out to enjoy one last walk. I'll tuck everyone in for the night, throw weeds to the geese, close in ducks and chickens, pet a few goats and toss them one last armload of hay. I'll close the greenhouses, stop to finger a tomato blossom or two, stray to pick a poppy, stop to peek at the bees, and always inhale deeply, consciously, and savor the rich scents of pungent damp green things.
Drowning in honey
4 weeks ago