It Lives

Building thunderstorms over the mountains.

Summer skies have returned to the Skagit Valley. It’s finally warm and dry enough to work in the garden.

Bee flying to buttercup.

The late spring warmth has the bees buzzing about. Speaking of bees, I’ve been reading and listening to Jacqueline Freeman’s Song of Increase. The book is about the life of bees. After keeping bees for many years, Jacqueline Freeman wrote down what she heard the bees tell her about their lives.

“Listening to the Wisdom of Honeybees for Kinder Beekeeping and a Better World,” is how she describes her book. “When the bees speak, I listen,” she says. Throughout the book she sprinkles sections where the bees speak for themselves, like this:

“We wake up to the understanding that we are all one, all the time. Human beings exist connected each to each, but believe that they are not. Honeybees dwell in the full realization of that connection and have done so for eons. The unity we embody is a reflection of the kingdom-wide Unity that dwells in us all.
This is the gift we bring: complete, sacred unity in body and spirit. To be in the presence of Spirit [God], to simply sit and be in such presence, offers the opportunity to be transformed by it. This we offer you. Come sit. Be with us. Drink in the Unity as you would fresh rain. We offer our gift with great joy and love!”

For a refreshing, different view of bee society get a copy of Jacqueline Freeman’s Song of Increase.

Bee on buttercup flower.
It lives. A green sprig sprouts on a dead California Lilac bush.

The harsh winter killed our grand California Lilac. So we were debating how to cut it down today when we noticed a green sprig sprouting on one of the main branches. It lives. We won’t chop it down yet.

A harsh winter followed by a long cool, wet spring has given way to summery days of delight.

Dirty Dogs, Duck Eggs, and Bullfrogs

Have you seen a dirtier dog? Talk about dirty dogs. Enna and Taku outdid themselves hunting rabbits in the woods. They caught two! One they brought back early and left at the gate. Perhaps they were hoping we would chop it up and fry it for them while they got more rabbits?

They came back hours later with another rabbit. The two dogs looked like they had died and gone to heaven. Enna and Taku love nothing more than chasing and catching rabbits. Wild rabbit is their favorite food. Fortunately a straw bed is the best cleaner for muddy dogs.

This is the first nest like place I’ve found of duck eggs this season. Most of the time the ducks are leaving their eggs scattered along the banks of the pond or in the grass. But this spot is too muddy, at least for me, maybe not for the ducks. So I couldn’t stop myself from spiffing it up with some straw.

So if at some point a duck decides to hatch ducklings, she’ll have a drier spot to sit. And the view from this nest isn’t bad. She can watch the swallows dart over the pond while she sits, and sits, and sits, and sits.

However, danger lurks nearby. Close to the nest is a favorite spot for bull frogs to sit in the afternoon sun. These invasive frogs can swallow baby ducklings whole. Now that I know where these large frogs like to whittle away the afternoons, I can catch them, or at least try. There are three that hang out in this spot. Maybe the dogs will prefer them to rabbits. Don’t they taste like chicken?

Cherry Blossom Snow, Witches and Goblins

Cherry blossom snow

Cherry blossom snow blankets the bank of the pond. And witches and goblins decide our future. We live in absurd times. But I suppose humans through the ages have always thought their time was particularly absurd.

I never thought I’d see the day when modern judges recite Medieval texts or the foreign judge, Mathew Hale, 1609-1676, from centuries ago who argued such blithering nonsense as the existence of laws against witches is proof that witches exist. Really? You’re going to base your argument on a judge from the 1600s who thought that? And yet our highest judges think these are perfectly reasonable reasons to back up their rulings. We might as well leave our fate up to goblins and such.

Purple flowers bloom against a wooden fence.

Spring is still cool with clouds, sprinkles, rain, and downpours nearly every day. So when the sun comes out I record it, just so I have proof that blue sky does exist and that somewhere a sun does shine.

Late spring rainbow
Sky with bits of blue

The apples are a riot of color. They can be as beautiful as cherry blossoms.

Apple blossoms

See how wet the leaves and petals are? Don’t let the dabbles of sunlight on them fool you. It’s not as warm as it looks.

Lilacs starting to bloom.

The lilacs are starting to bloom too. I could cover my face with their blossoms and inhale their sweet fragrance all day long. It would take my mind off the reality that our fate is up to judges who think highly of an English judge from the 1600s who executed witches and argued for chopping the heads off of 14 year olds. It makes me wonder what the war of independence was for if we’re bound to beliefs and superstitions of English judges from so long ago.

Skunk cabbage growing vigorously in the woods.

In the woods the skunk cabbage grow vigorously. I admire these robust plants which can produce such huge leaves out of the air they breathe and the minerals they quaff from the ground.

Large earthworm next to a hand.

And in the garden I find these large, translucent earthworms. It’s remarkable how such soft, fragile tubes slither through the soil. There are some 22,000 species of these creatures. Annelids is what they are called, from the Latin anellus which means “little ring.” You can make out the thin segments on the earthworm in the picture. If you want to take your mind off the absurdity that our highest judges have their minds muddled by Medieval thought, count the rings on this earthworm. This earthworm is large, but it is nothing compared to the meter long Giant Gippsland earthworm of Australia.