Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Song of a Thousand Drunken Bees


Near the site of the almost bee crash

I almost crashed my bicycle due to a bee. Not because it was trying to sting me, but rather because I saw it wallowing around on the sidewalk, apparently heavily-laden with pollen and nectar, right in front of my front wheel just as I was starting out after taking the photo of the flower-hugged sign of Evelyn Hallman Park, above.

I snapped the photo, stood up to make a semi-lazy start, and just then noticed the bee. I usually stop by relying mostly on the front brake, but in this case my weight was not balanced as far back as normal, and the front wheel began to chatter as the rear wheel began to lift. That chattering sound I heard was what it might sound like to smash my face into the bee crossing the sidewalk that I was trying not to hit with my tire.

The reason the bees were heavily-laden
Just around the corner, after recovering by letting go of the front brake and steering around the drunken bee, I discovered the reason for the bee's flight-challenged status: the palo verde trees have bloomed. On approaching the tree above in the heat of the afternoon (low 80s today), and standing still a moment, the sound of a thousand bees gorging themselves on nectar, and loading up their saddlebags with pollen, was easily audible. This was one of the happiest bee sounds you'll ever hear: buzzzz oh wow there's so much here buzzzzzzz man I can barely fly buzzzzzzzz wait just one more blossom before I return to the hive buzzzzzzz. I basically stuck my head in amongst the feeding bees to get the photo above, and they didn't even notice me because they were so busy.

Suddenly, the desert parts of the state all explode in this yellow color, this one next to the Crosscut Canal

I stayed by the palo verde just long enough to take the photo and listen to the bees' song a moment. I was glad to hear their song, glad to have avoided running one over, and glad to not have smashed my face into it in the attempt. I had my own song to resume: the song of my bike tires on the path, the rhythm of the chain and cogs, the bass backbeat of my heart pumping. I pumped my legs hard the last few miles and felt a surge of energy by imagining the song of the bees.


2 comments:

  1. Wow, it sure changed in a week since I was at that park! The palo verdes are so unbelievably beautiful this time of year when there are several in close proximity; it's seriously overwhelming even to humans.

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    Replies
    1. There was a large family with many kids sort of swimming and splashing in the pond where the cormorant often sits. It was that warm out there. I suppose that they are officially not permitted to do that, however it was a perfect element in the scene.

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