Death in Bee Land

Silent homes.

Silent homes.

Two of our hives died this winter. It’s so sad to see the tiny bodies. People complain about invasive species. Some of these people have hives. Yet honeybees are transplants from Europe. In fact, the Indians hated when they saw honeybees  because they knew the white settlers weren’t far behind. I guess sweet invaders are acceptable . . .

We Loved You, Bob White

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Our tiny friend Bob White (the quail) died today–one little bird that in the wild has less than a year life expectancy. He came in the spring and adopted our chickens as family, but we worried when he showed up one afternoon with a gash on his proud chest. Bob wouldn’t let me catch him then. He just scuttled around speaking in the opinionated voice he had. But with the cold yesterday he teetered my way and let himself be easily picked up. I hoped for the best and kept him bundled close to my heart and every so often he’d glance up with his dark eyes and coo as if whispering the last little secrets he had in the world. It’s a silly little bird, I know, but he charmed me all summer long. I’d taken to checking up on him with a flashlight at night in the coop. How can one small creature meant only for a brief life make life seem so sad when he’s gone?

Does it matter that he died in my hand greatly loved or that he did, in his bird way, speak his final words to someone who tried to understand him? Little deaths all around sometimes make life more unbearable than anything else.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/northern_bobwhite/sounds

Don’t even tell me you don’t sometimes want to use evil pesticides.

All the books say if you have great soil and manage weeds and plant the right varieties you can re-create the Garden of Eden. Well, sometimes I like to think our beautiful spot is pretty idyllic.

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We’ve picked  fair crops of snap peas, string beans,  garlic and even a few beets. The Brussels sprouts are coming on . . .but out of the corner of my eye I see a bit of wilting on the pie pumpkins climbing over the cattle panel trellises that up to this point looked impressive. I ignore it, because that’s what I do sometimes.

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Finally when things get far gone and the evil music I hear as I walk by the pumpkins on the way to worming the goats gets to me and I take a real look.

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Can you see the little storm trooper of death? A squash bug happily laying millions (exaggeration maybe) of golden eggs of death which hatch into kind of cute bluish nymphs.

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My helper (farm kid) and I cut off as many destroyed leaves as we could with blue bugs crawling all over us and sprayed soap all over the little ones tip toeing over the pumpkins. I used the hard sprayer–so there you little creatures. I don’t care how cute you are,