Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.



Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bee! I'm expecting you!



A close encounter with a beautiful big bumble bee earlier this week suddenly made it feel as though early summer isn't all that far away after all. One of my summer pleasures is to sit in the garden and listen to the busy hum of the bees as they work at collecting nectar from my flowers. I find it a relaxing tranquil sound even though it indicates great industry on their part. I like bees, they are friendly comfortable creatures and only sting as a last resort unlike wasps. If a bee stings it dies so it isn't an option that they take unless they feel very threatened. There are two little pieces connected with bees that I really like, this poem....

Bee! I'm expecting you!
Was saying Yesterday
To Somebody you know
That you were due --

The Frogs got Home last Week --
Are settled, and at work --
Birds, mostly back --
The Clover warm and thick --

You'll get my Letter by
The seventeenth; Reply
Or better, be with me --
Yours, Fly.

by Emily Dickinson

....and the song sung by Ariel in Shakespeare's play 'The Tempest'


Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

-- William Shakespeare

11 comments:

Kate said...

Thank you for your post and stories - I too love all the bees - we have bumbles and honeybees (sadly much reduced by colony collapse disorder) as well as numerous native bees. I love watching them going about their business. I once kept honeybees, and may do so again someday.

solsticedreamer~laoi gaul~williams said...

we have had gorgeous huge bumbles here~like you i just love them and always try for a closer look to see the pollen they carry :)

(i have your email, expect a reply soon ;) )

Granny Sue said...

The poems are beautiful--I especially like the one from Shakespeare. It's been a long while since I've read this play and I think it's time to become reacquainted.

What are the yellow flowers in the last photo? They're very pretty, but I don't think I know them.

Rowan said...

Sue, the yellow flower is the cowslip which Ariel lies in, it's an English wildflower much rarer now than it once was. Once they were so common and numerous that children made cowslip balls to play with and it would be gathered to make cowslip wine. It's a really beautiful flower and I gather that cowslip wine is quite something too though I've never had it:)

Sarah said...

I think I saw my first bumble bee about three weekends ago (the weeks have been stretching lately with all our dashing around the UK). Last Saturday I saw a red admiral butterfly - amazing for this time of year! I've noticed how the cowslips are regenerating both in my Sanctuary and in the next door field. When I first started cultivating my herb beds there was only a single cowslip - now there are definite clusters of plants. I remember a field on a neighbouring farm which was covered in cowslips one year during my teenage years, but then they put the sheep in the field and I've never seen a cowslip there since!

Hollace said...

Thank you for a lovely introduction to the first day of Spring. I'd love to have the cowslips in my yard, too, but I'm not sure they are available as seeds. I love the Spode pattern "Cowslip", so if I can't have them in my yard I'll have
a few in my cupboard.
I'd like to hear a bee buzzing but it is way too cold and wet here still.

PAT said...

Beautiful first of Spring post, Rowan!!

I love the poem and song.

Rosie said...

Lovely post - I love Cowslips they remind me of my childhood and walking around the woods in springtime picking flowers either for the school nature table or to take home for Mum - they usually ended up in a jam jar on the kitchen window sill.

Leanne said...

fat fuzzy bees here too, its so welcome after the winter to see the bees back..

Leanne x

FireLight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FireLight said...

A big bumbly bumble bee flew right inot my car as I was leaving one day last week. Knowing I had to be able to drive safely home, I openiend the sunroof and asked him to move on. He did! I love to hear the bees too. And thank you for the snowdrops. I saw one lone bell on my clusters. Spring is definitely here.

These lines are from Yeats' poem
"The Lake Isle of Inisfree"

Nine bean rows shall I have there
And a hive for the honey bee
And live alone
In the bee-loud glad...