A Bee-Loud Ravine


Over two hours in the sun and shade of a ridiculously lush river valley. Went from one end of Mill Creek to the other, and then a bit beyond. By the time I got home, I was very hot, and in need of immediate hydration. I suppose I could bring some water with me, but I try to be as unencumbered as possible when I’m walking. Should desperation hit, I know where the water fountains are located…or if sunstroke hits first, the river. Seems to work for the dogs. Some people are really tricked out for their walks (or runs, or rides…), but the more crap I have hanging off me, the more distracted I am by the sloshing and jiggling of my gear. Keys, and sometimes my camera are more than enough. On the weekdays, my walk inevitably involves lugging a backpack with my work clothes, empty lunch containers, books, shoes, and whatever else deemed necessary for that particular day. I’m used to it now, but less is definitely more on the trails.

The ubiquitous wild rose is in full pink bloom all over the city, but especially in the river valley. Aside from their beauty, this emblem of our province (no, it’s not a dead duck), can also carry a tune. Wild rose bushes hum. They are always, always full of bees, which used to scare the shite out of me, but now just makes me happy. In the last few years, bees have become troubled little creatures, facing all sorts of pathogenic challenges, so a humming bush full of voracious bees is a very good thing indeed. And by the vigour of the hum, wild rose pollen must be a tasty treat for a bee. Like a pink milkshake…or a Cosmopolitan.

Last night, my sister and I watched a fat bee methodically, and yet somehow languorously suck the pollen out of poppy flower. The weight of the bee made the flower bob gently up and down, as if caught in a breeze, bending the stem almost to the ground. It was quite lovely. A single bee interacting with a single flower. Coulda watched that for hours…


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