Posted by: atowhee | July 8, 2017


“Wild Bees”
“These children of the sun which summer brings
As pastoral minstrels in her merry train
Pipe rustic ballads upon busy wings
And glad the cotters’ quiet toils again…
And russet commoner who knows the face
Of every blossom that the meadow brings
Starting the traveler to a quicker pace
By threatening round his head in many rings
These sweeten summer in their happy glee
By giving for her honey melody.” –John Clare

July 8, Saturday. Sunny, high in the eighties in the afternoon. Summer happening all around us.
The crowcophony continues with young whining for food and the parents reassuring the fledglings that there will be another meal anon. They fly back and forth between the taller trees in our neighborhood. Far above them a Vaux’s Swift silently cruises past, eating on the wing. Crow and swift—the two species operate on totally different planes.
The tomato plants are putting on fruit. I noticed one today that has the diameter of a dime. And this time of year the dragonflies are to be seen regularly. FLAME SKIMMERWHITETAIL--IMMAture maleThere are dragons set loose upon the Earth but these elegant insects do not deserve such a name. Sure they devour the smaller and the helpless, but not once has a dragonfly been found to strafe an entire colony of aphids just to see them die, has used no poison gas, no drone, no assassins. The natural world depends on killing and eating but its denizens rarely exercise violence for the sake of power or money or oil. It has taken millions of years for primates—like chimps and humans–to develop the will and skill to kill for reasons that have nothing to do with mere survival.

I have long admired the recycling efforts of Turkey Vultures, corvids, mushrooms, various beetles and flies, ants. But now I must admit admiration for the pestiferous garden snails that so threaten my lettuce and parsley crop. They Kindly remove all the labels from my wine bottles in the outdoor recycling bin, so nobody can see what egregiously cheap stuff I sometimes imbibe. Just this week I found one snail eating off a label…here’s the result of their efforts in juts a few days:WINE LABEL

The dragonflies above are flame skimmer on top, then immature male whitetail.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: