The Bumblebee and Me

No automatic alt text available.I am so freakin’ gonna die this weekend! I can barely tolerate temperatures in the high 70s. I don’t know how I will endure temperatures that feel like they are close to 100.

Because it’s going to be so scorching hot this weekend, I’ve been trying to get as many chores done as I can. As soon as EJ left for work, I started mowing the lawn to take advantage of the morning coolness. Today’s high temperature is forecasted to reach 84, which is still very hot, just not hellishly hot. I had to take several breaks to cool down in front of the fan.

I got the sprinklers going as soon as I mowed the area around the fruit trees. Then every time I took a break, I moved the sprinklers.

After I finished mowing and watering the garden and trees, I took a shower. Usually I take a shower as soon as EJ leaves for work, but I wanted to wait until after I had mowed because I knew that I’d be feeling hot and sweaty and grimy afterwards, and a shower would feel refreshing. After my shower, I sat in my chair and let my hair dry while I debated with myself about whether I wanted to go get groceries today or wait until tomorrow.  I decided to get groceries today so I drove to the store, did my shopping, drove home, lugged all the bags into the house, and put everything away. Then I had a lunch of watermelon and pretzels, which isn’t the healthiest lunch, but I was tired, it was already 3 p.m., and supper wasn’t too far in the future.

After lunch, I washed a bunch of eggs and got them boiling and then made egg salad for sandwiches after I went out and gathered duck and chicken eggs. EJ has all next week off from work (yay!), and it’s the holiday weekend, and with the weather so hot, I’m preparing a bunch of easy to make picnic-type meals so I won’t have to do much cooking. Heating up the kitchen on hot days such as we are expecting would be torture.

After much thought, I decided on a location for my magic food dehydrator. I’m putting it on the counter to the left of the sink and dish drainer. There’s just enough room there, and it won’t be in the way of food preparation. Also, there’s an outlet behind it. I don’t know why appliances are designed with such short power cords. It’s crazy. Anyway, I’m very eager to begin using the dehydrator, but they tend to heat up the house so I will wait for some cooler days.

Speaking about the food dehydrator, later yesterday afternoon after I had rested from my ordeal of getting the food dehydrator up the driveway and into the house, I went out to the kitchen to examine it more closely. EJ had wanted metal racks because plastic is unhealthy–and I read reviews from people of plastic trays melting in some of the dehydrators. Well, we had the metal racks all right, but I couldn’t find any control panel. I felt quite disappointed because I had specifically wanted to have temperature controls and a timer. I’ve never had those features before and it seemed to me that they would help me dry herbs at the correct temp and time.  I looked the machine over repeatedly and, nope, no control panel. Since it was a Magic Mill brand, I wondered if I needed to say a magic word such as “Abracadabra”–or “Speak Friend and enter” in the elvish tongue like Gandalf had to do to enter the mines of Moria. I don’t know the language of the Elves so that would be a problem. But then I happened to see a faint + and – sign on the top edge of the dehydrator. With rising hope, I plugged the dehydrator into a nearby outlet. And “ABRACADABRA!” a control panel magically lit up at the top edge of the machine. I was utterly enchanted!

Yesterday afternoon I rescued a bumblebee, which is only right since I was responsible for its near-death experience. Here’s what happened:

When I took Hannah outside yesterday afternoon, I happened to notice that the sand in my butterfly puddler was dry so when I took her back into the house, I filled up an empty milk jug with water and moistened the sand in the puddler so the butterflies could drink safely.

The bumblebee

Next I checked the water level in the blue plant saucer, which I put on one of the big rocks. I felt sad when I saw a bumblebee lifelessly floating in the water. Obviously, I should have put rocks in the saucer so tiny creatures wouldn’t drown, but I was primarily intending the saucer to be a birdbath or drinking water for larger critters. Too prevent future deaths, I grabbed a few rocks to put in the saucer, and I used one of them to lift the dead bumblebee out of the water because, well, who wants to drink from water with dead things floating in it? As I lifted the bumblebee out, it moved weakly. It was ALIVE! I carefully put the small rock down on the big rock so the bumblebee could dry out in the sun. He was in pretty bad shape and I didn’t know if he would pull through.

I checked on the bumblebee a couple of times over the next few hours. It remained on the rock. Sometimes I wasn’t sure it was even alive but then I’d see a small movement, a leg or antenna waving weakly. I whimsically imagined myself giving the bumblebee mouth-to-mouth respiration as I shouted, “Breathe, dammit! Breathe!” I don’t actually swear, but you’ll have to forgive me because in my mind I heard Dr. Leonard McCoy from the U.S.S. Enterprise fiercely shout those words as he worked on a wounded alien.

The last time I checked on the bumblebee, I thought for sure it was dead. But Josette joined me, as she always does when I’m outside, and she jumped up on the big rock to examine the bumblebee. The bumblebee found the strength to rear back, fists clenched like a prize-fighter, to defend itself from her. I quickly picked up Josette and carried her to the porch, away from the bumblebee, because being almost drowned and then eaten by a cat is just too tragic an ending. When I went out a while later to check on the bumblebee, the rock was empty. I didn’t see any cats near the big rock after I carried Josette away so I’m sure they didn’t get it. I choose to believe that it had recovered and flown away.

It’s probably silly to care so much about the bumblebee, except that I was sad when I thought it was drowned in the water I had set out, and I was thrilled when I saw it was still alive, and my compassion grew from there. Also, I admired its strong will to live and got caught up in its battle to survive. There are some insects that I loathe–like spiders, and ticks, and mosquitoes–and I usually don’t hesitate to kill them. There are some creepy crawlies that I am rather fond of, such as bees, crickets, and butterflies. I confess that when I was a child, I never wanted to be a ballerina, or astronaut, or anything like that. Instead, I always wanted the ability to talk to and understand the animals like Dr. Doolittle. There is something magical about living in an Enchanted Forest and having close encounters with wildlife. It’s not the same as living in a town.

Later I was chatting with JJ on Facebook and I told him that I had rescued a bumblebee. “Do you know what this means?” I asked.  “It means that sometime in the future I will find myself in a dire situation and the bumblebee will save me.” That’s how it works in enchanted forests in fairy tales and fables.

Did you know there are many legends in many cultures about bees? Well, not bumblebees, but honey bees? You can search for legends or myths about honeybees on Google. One legend is that a beekeeper must treat his (or her) bees as members of the family. The bees should be informed of all family happenings, from births to deaths and events in-between, especially weddings. Beekeepers also needed calm voices, as the bees did not take harsh words lightly. Either offense could result in the hives not producing honey all the way to leaving their beekeeper. Their leaving was considered very dangerous, as owners who lost their bees were surely doomed to die!

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7 Comments on “The Bumblebee and Me

  1. You saved that bee’s life – he will recover to pollinate all your flowers – your garden will thrive and along will come more butterflies and blossoms. Yay for you – not yay for the weather … I wish it was next week already and we were past this heat wave.

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      • I think so too TJ – we nature lovers must stick together … not hard to do in this sweltering heat. It is 9:15 p.m. and still 85 degrees. Tomorrow will be bad – you stay cool as well. I don’t like wishing my life away, but I’d like to jump ahead to next Thursday when the whole heat wave is over.

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      • I know and we’re getting same as you guys tomorrow and we have the Downriver Cruisin’ event tomorrow. I think alot of the classic cars will not show up – too hot to be driving them in the heat of the day. They have bands scheduled in the Park all day long too for this event and I don’t think the crowds will be there – too hot.

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      • There is the National Cherry Festival this weekend up here. Usually there are thousands that attend. I wonder how many will show up–or how many will need medical care because of the heat.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I heard that and meant to mention it when I commented and forgot – I was wondering the same thing. People would expect it would be a little cooler away from downstate. I hope they have cooling tents for people to go.

        Liked by 1 person

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