Sunday, September 27, 2009

Late Nectars

Common Eastern Bumble Bee
(Bombus impatiens)

On these cool (sometimes downright cold) autumn mornings, I have been watching bumble bees move slowly among the Michaelmas daisies, various sedums and culinary herbs in the garden. Call it what one will, the experience is a bittersweet reminder of seasonal turnings, transience and the natural order of things.

There will be small bursts of energy when the day warms up, but the northern bumbles are approaching the endings of their dear little furry lives. It always makes me glad to see them partaking of late nectars, for they will only be here on the earth with us for a few more days.

Born in early and middle summer, most bumbles are felled by autumn's frosts. But for newborn (and already mated) over-wintering queens, their cheery buzzing existences come into being and pass away within a single calendar year.

I've often thought that the "humble bumble" is a perfect metaphor for life in what I like to call the calendar of the seasons or "the Great Round".


Delphyne said...

That's a really beautiful picture - you really caught the furry little body of this one!

CrowsFoxes said...

Dear Cate,
My father died this year on May 4. We planted bright orange zinnias on his grave and each time we visited the gravesite, Mr. Bee came calling, dancing and roving over the flowers. The last time we visted, on Friday, Mr. Bee landed on a flower and stirred no more. I think he went to the hive in the sky at that moment. Thank you for the lovely picture and for recalling that memory for me.