Bee watching

 

 

Mario my famous cat and gardening companion.
Mario my famous cat and gardening companion.

 

The miracle of life lies out there teeming in the dark rich earth. I can feel it.  I can sense it and it is a wondrous thing.  No matter how many times I see a tiny sprout emerge from the soil I  am awestruck at such beautiful complexity inhibiting such lovely simplicity. Everything has it’s place, it’s purpose. Exquisite harmony and balance reins supreme…or at least it used to.

I have spent much of my 44 summers enthralled in the wilds of an urban garden; laying in the grass staring up at the imaginative clouds, cavorting with the butterflies and communing with the bees. As a young girl I felt a kinship with nature that has only intensified with age.  I feel in tune with the earth and with all living things and I have always had a special affinity for the natural world and all the beautiful shapes and colors of life on our amazing planet. 

It has been only natural for me to embrace gardening as one of my passionate pastimes.

As an adult I have spent countless hours in glorious toil in the backyard sun, digging and planting and weeding and planning. I have transformed a weedy double lot into what I refer to as my sanctuary, my retreat from the artificial inside.  I feel safe there and so do many of the urban wildlife that visit.  The neighborhood cats especially like it here and it isn’t uncommon for me to have a clan of disinterested felines “cheering me on”.

I am a great observer. It is another one of my pastimes; watching and observing and drawing conclusions….and I am a great watcher of the earth and I don’t have to tell you how sick it is. 

How sick our mother is. Our planet Earth. Our only home is ill. She is dying. The signs are all around. Some people don’t want you to believe that because they are more interested in the status quo but if we don’t change our ways there will be no status at all. 

It seems so far away; all this unbalance, this poison that eats away.  It is all around us, in our plastics and pesticides, in our gas- guzzling machines and in our diet colas. It hasn’t hit most of us yet…not really, but can you hear the rumblings? I can. I do as I sit in my garden; my sanctuary.

California Poppy in June Credit: N.L. McKinley
California Poppy in June Credit: N.L. McKinley

I sit in a prime spot next to a huge swath of brightly colored California poppies. They are one of the stars of the garden at this time of year and a favorite among the bees, including my favorite, the honey bee. I remember a time when they would be in beautiful abundance; busily buzzing from one flower to the next. I have noticed them slowly start to vanish…little by little; just a trickle at first but now it grows more obvious every year. My eyes scan the flowers and I only see a clumsy black bumble. I patiently wait…I don’t see a honeybee. I scan the grass at the clover I allow to grow, still no honeybee. The sun is out on an 80 degree day in June and where are they?

 

 Ahhh there’s one.  One honeybee and two bumbles…

 

 

Honeybee in June by N.L McKinley
Honeybee in June by N.L McKinley

 

Bumble Bee in June accompanied by Orange Poppy. Credit: N.L. McKinley
Bumble Bee in June accompanied by Orange Poppy. Credit: N.L. McKinley

Perhaps it is still to early for them…perhaps I didn’t wait long enough…I will go out and look tomorrow for another one…

California Poppy in June Credit: N.L. McKinley
California Poppy in June Credit: N.L. McKinley

 

 

More stuff to ponder…

Just me Nancy reporting from the urban wilds of my backyard…SMILE!  Have a good one and remember what our friend Anne Frank said:

 

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” 
― Anne Frank

 

Sometimes that is all we can do…

(And one more thing: please no more pesticides. I know YOU don’t use them but for anyone who may. Please as a personal favor for me…stop.)

Nancy

 

“The natural world belongs to us all and it is vanishing at an alarming rate. We the people of this planet have a responsibility to the generations that come after us. I believe we gardeners have a special and vital role to play in the protection of our dwindling natural assets.”

 

~N.L.  McKinley

 

bee gif flying

 

 

 Related Sound and Natural Tunes

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Marvin Gaye – Mercy Mercy me
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Counting Crows – Big Yellow Taxi ft. Vanessa Carlton
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Blind Melon – No Rain
Optimistic Sunflower and Bee. Credit N.L McKinley
Optimistic Sunflower and Bee. Credit N.L McKinley

 

Related Articles and Items of interest

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SAVE THE BEES (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

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List of crop plants pollinated by bees (Wikipedia)

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Mass bee die-offs reported in Portland area (Statesmanjournal.com)

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A Disastrous Year for Bees: ‘We Can’t Keep Them Alive’ (New York Times on You Tube)

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Feds aim to save declining honeybee (pressherald.com)

 

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SHY

 

shy girl

 

“My feelings are too loud for words and too shy for the world.”

― Dejan Stojanovic

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I have always been shy. There has never been a time in my life when I wasn’t to some degree or another. It’s not just that I don’t know what to say or how to say it, I am afraid to say anything at all.

It is embarrassing and what’s even more embarrassing is that it is so evident. You can’t hide shyness, it is tough to cover. The shy person may look like everyone else on the outside but on the inside he or she doesn’t feel the same.

 

 

me at age 6 001 eyes

I remember when I first started kindergarten at age 4. It was my first exposure to a large group of other kids and it was very odd and surreal to me. Everyone seemed so at ease with being themselves. They could move around gracefully whereas I was clumsy. They knew what to say, I never did. I couldn’t understand how they could know what to say.

This was so evident from the very first day. I didn’t understand. It was as if these other kids had been told how to act or if they just knew instinctively.

In my whole school “career”  I never spoke up.  I never raised my hand or even  asked a question, not once. I would willingly take a lower grade in order to get out of public speaking.

All I could do was to try to blend into the background as best as I could. Most of the time it worked. At other times, it did not.  From time to time some idiot would make it a point of drawing attention to me and my shyness by making stupid and sarcastic comments about it always within earshot of a crowd . This was horrible and it only drew me more inward.

 

 

 

 

 

As an adult shyness has held me back from life. I remember so many instances when I felt I needed to speak up, to say something but so many times I never did.  I just let fate and circumstance dictate the direction of my life and to be brutally honest; I haven’t gone far.

Shyness has held me back in life. It has been an albatross around my neck and I want this to stop.

I am better today but it has taken a long time to get where I am now and I still have a long way to go…

quote lonesome in a crowd marilyn monroe

 

 

 

Shyness is a prison. It holds its captive in a state of the perpetual outsider even with one’s own family.  A shy person rarely makes friends with another, it is the other who must make friends first. For two mutual sufferers of this affliction to meet and later become friends is a very rare and beautiful occurrence indeed.

woman sitting on rock sunset shadow contemplation

 

Often shyness is mistaken for indifference, aloofness and downright coldness. I know when it is happening and I can feel it. There  seems to be a wall or some sort of  invisible barrier between myself and everyone else. It’s as if it is written on my face,  this social awkwardness. I suppose that is why I am telling you this painful embarrassing stuff about me.  There is always that one in the crowd, the one that stands a bit a part from everyone else, the one who is always left out of the loop, the one thought unapproachable and unfriendly, may be a warm soul who would love to make a friend but just doesn’t know how.   Shyness is not a choice. I do not choose to be this way. It has stunted my growth and my life and as I scramble to make up for lost time at 44 and I feel the need to call attention to the plight of the shy person.

So if you see one of us out there trying to blend into the background wearing an insecure scowl offer up a warm smile or a simple “hello”. This sort of thing spreads. Insecurity and shyness are often go hand and hand. If you see something wonderful in someone, tell them, perhaps they will recognize it too and eventually in time it will be they that say hello to you!

 

We all have own strengths and weaknesses, no one is perfect. It takes time to get to know someone but it is well worth that time. Shy, not shy…whatever. It is healthy to want to reach out, some of us just need a little help on what may come naturally to others. No one wants to be left out entirely.   We are all human with human needs and wants including friends.   That’s all. 

 

 

vintage-friends beach fun madness

 

 Have an excellent day!

Nancy 

 

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“If you’re an introvert, you also know that the bias against quiet can cause deep psychic pain. As a child you might have overheard your parents apologize for your shyness. Or at school you might have been prodded to come “out of your shell” -that noxious expression which fails to appreciate that some animals naturally carry shelter everywhere they go, and some humans are just the same.”
― Susan Cain

 

Related articles

 

Pink Floyd – Outside the Wall (With Lyrics) 
Social Anxiety Disorder & Social Phobia–Symptoms, Self-Help, and Treatment (helpguide.org)

Your mountain is waiting…

 

“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!” 
~Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

 

 

There it is. It looms large over me blocking my path, blackening out the sun and staring me straight in the face. It is icy cold and hard as rock and its jagged peak lies someplace beyond the clouds where I cannot see.  It sits outside my door haunting me…taunting me..whispering  “I am the way, I am salvation. I am the path to be followed and through me lies freedom.”  I can’t ignore it. I have tried that.  I have made excuses, I have lied to myself…I have even denied it’s existence but it is there just as it’s always been.

It is that very thing I think I cannot do that I must do. The very thing that blocks me. It is my mountain and it is mine alone to climb. No matter what I do in life, no matter what other mountains I may climb it is this one and this one alone that is essential; for by scaling its peaks I conquer myself and that can be a very steep climb indeed.

We all have our mountains,  some people seem to immediately recognize them and with no apparent effort at all bound right over them.  Most find theirs in time and slowly ascend and through trial and error, a  little luck and determination make it over the hump and on their way without too many bruises.  And then there are others like myself who for whatever reason have yet to begin the climb.

I suppose I am writing this for you, for us…for we that linger near base camp…looking to the sky at that damned mountain. Make any excuse you want. I think it’s fear; fear of the unknown…fear of failure…fear of looking like an idiot…fear of being myself…fear of dreaming, of risking, of trying and failing…of wanting and not getting.  Fear of not being enough….or too much. I have been hiding so long from what I thought was the world but in fact I think I’ve been hiding all this time from me.

And that mountain is me. It is myself that I must conquer.  It is all my faults and mistakes….my vulnerabilities that I must own along with the rest and it is those sweet bits of goodness that make it all worthwhile.  Many many years from now when I am on my deathbed reflecting back on my life it will be atop that mountain, wind in my hair, sun on my face and I will look down on all that was and know I did my best. And that’s all any of us can do…Stuff to ponder…

 

  Have an excellent day my friends,

Nancy

quote zen Mount-Haleakala-Hawaii     

 

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” 
~Andy Rooney

 

Mountain Sounds

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Of Monsters And Men – Mountain Sound 

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Led Zeppelin – Misty Mountain Hop – Live Madison Square Garden

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BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAINS – Harry Mac McClintock – 1928