Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I spent a good portion of yesterday reading about bees to Sierra. Why bees? Funny story.

Sunday was a beautiful day here. I figured I would enjoy the last hours of daylight sitting outside reading. Yes, my guilty pleasure, the source of this week's inspiration. I was only 2 chapters from the end of "Fowl Weather," a book that was not as light a read as its predecessor, "Enslaved by Ducks." I have a long list of books I'd like to read this summer and July is whizzing quickly by. I settled into my chair, my feet propped on an oak tree round, and opened my book.

"Mommy, how do we get honey from bees?" I look up at Sierra. She is practicing her balance, hopping from one tree log to another. This is why we saved so many pieces of the oak we cut down. I tried to briefly explain the honey collecting process, based on my observations of beekeepers and stories told by my uncle when I was a kid.

Uncle John had a farm in the hills of West Virginia when I was young. He was also a coal miner. Not exactly the profession you would expect for someone growing up in NYC. Anyway, he used to keep bees. He also had a gift for storytelling. My brother, sister and I could listen to him for hours. The beekeeping stories were particularly interesting. I remember his unorthodox method of collecting combs (open the hive and run away until the bees calm down) and his story of when the hive divided and the swarm of displaced bees waited patiently for him to give them a new hive before giving up and flying off.

Sierra decided she wanted to keep bees. I told her we could consider it when she's older, and in the meantime we could learn as much as possible about bees. "NO!" she insisted, "I want to do it now, while I'm still five."

Carpe Diem.

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