Spring Waning Bee Hiving Moon
When I pulled the grass plugs out of the entrance reducers, it was as if the bees had lined up, just waiting for me. They streamed out, headed for nearest blooming thing. Well, maybe not. My understanding is that bees take short flights, then incrementally longer ones, then longer ones, until they’ve built up a knowledge base about the hive’s location. Only then do they head off for the pollen and nectar available. They vector using the sun, landmarks and the hive’s appearance.
Bees see color, though they see it in the infrared spectrum. The colony, essentially a female commune, depends on the different tasks performed by workers, most of them dependent on age. The youngest bees serve as nurse bees, checking on larvae (instar), pupae health, cleaning the frame and building up comb if necessary. The forager and defensive bees are the oldest bees in the colony with the exception of the queen. They are also the crankiest, the most likely to sting and the fuddy-duddies who, if a new queen is not properly introduced, take offense and smother her.
(see the Guardian article on the pagan roots of Easter)
I wrote the first draft of Leslie’s end of the year evaluation today, too. She has made great strides. Though I would have thought it happened long ago, this likely will be the last time I have a working relationship with the seminary and, with the exception of the occasional sermon, Groveland. It’s been fun to work with Leslie, but the church just does not hold the juice for me anymore. Liberal religion is an interesting thought world, an anti-faith faith and for most of its adherents, a godless religion. A strange animal indeed.
After the nap I went outside to finalize the planting scheme for this year. I have a small moleskine notebook in which I record my planting schemes, primarily to keep my memory clear about rotation planting. It can get complicated. This was a blue sky, yellow sun day. Birds sang and a light breeze blew through the trees, still leafless. Writing in my notebook, I felt a connection to the other gardens we’ve planted, the ones from which we probably still have tomatoes, beans, onions, chutney, sauces. Each gardening year is its own event, never duplicated. There are averages and likelihoods, but mother nature does not repeat with slavish devotion to detail, rather in the large strokes, warmer and wetter in summer, colder and drier in winter.
Later Kate came out and I consulted her about how many tomato plants she wanted, where she wanted the beans and the peas to go. We marked them with the wonderful tomato cages we purchased three years ago, thick metal rods enameled orange, sturdy. She set out to string netting for the sugar snap peas and I planted carrots, then leeks. Mark smoothed out last year’s potato bed where this year we will plant beans and onions. He put in several rows of white onions and when I left him was planting red onions. Kate planted the sugar snaps and the dwarf peas, too.
I came inside to get ready for tai chi. I’ve made a decision, at least for right now, about resistance work. I’m going to continue my intensive aerobic work, focused on cardiovascular health, but I’m going to set aside the resistance work for now in favor of tai chi. My reasoning is that the primary gain I wanted from resistance work is strength to avoid falls. Tai chi, carefully cultivated and practiced, approaches the question of balance from a different perspective, whole body balancing and leg strengthening, movement centered over the foot. I just don’t have the willingness to do 45 minutes + of aerobics plus tai chi plus resistance work. At least not right now. I will get some resistance work naturally during the gardening season.