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The NY Times just had an article speculating about whether, given the existence of specific brain anatomy, bees might have some form of awareness.  They rule out “why” questions, like “why am I not queen?”, but I can easily imagine that awareness might include some form of “Whew!”….as in…

“Unit has successfully avoided being eaten”

or

“Unit is wet. Unit does not have stable footing. Unit is out of correct operating temperature range…. NEW DATA: stable footing.  NEW DATA: sunlight and warmth.  NEW DATA: food available…. PROCESSING….”

…which really means that I’ve fished another three bees out of a bucket of rainwater and set them out to dry on dandelion flowers…

 

Special Guest Bee!

And of course you are all welcome to Name This Bee: 

  

Unsurprisingly, this never caught on….

Sacrament-of-Scrubbing-Bubbles

To be honest, other than the text and the mustaches, there was very little I had to do here; we can compliment/blame Alice Cordelia Morse for her lovely watercolor and gouache work.  It’s archived at the Smithsonian, as an image from the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. I’m reasonably sure that the skull-like blotches around the cross were really meant as shorthand for cherub faces.  But scrubbing bubbles [wha-hoo!] are much more entertaining.

We’ve had a houseguest that did not arrive [or leave] on four feet.  So perhaps that’s why cleaning has been on my mind?

No axes required

More garden cleanup work

  

Asparagus spears

Mourning cloak butterfly

Peony leaves

Garden chaff collection

Allergy symptoms devolving into a chest cold

Spring Things

Spring Singer alerted me to the emergence of this year’s first crop of jousting carpenter bees [Xylocopus] in regional gardens.  This afternoon they are bumbling in and around the magnolia blossoms and riding the willow catkins, which bow under their weight in the March breezes.

First-Xylocopus-Spring-2016

At least, around here, at the moment, those are ‘breezes’.  I understand Colorado got a blizzard, and sections of the Northeast got a recent blast of snow.

Big bees, little bees; it’s been a good day for watching wildlife in the warming weather.  A wood thrush poked around in the leaf litter by the back fence.  White throated sparrows haven’t disappeared yet, and the downy woodpeckers are tap tap tapping to see what might be waking up under loose bark.  Cardinals, blue jays, song sparrows…. Squirrels, rabbits, and oh, I hope that was something other than a rat — aren’t those supposed to be nocturnal?  Couldn’t it be a stoat, or something more pleasant, with a brown agouti coat and bright black eyes?

We’ll see.

Underwood-Over-Grass

Let’s not tell Smiling Typewriter about this…..

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