A clover and one bee

Red Dead-nettle about to bloom in the bee yard. (c) Erik Brown

Red Dead-nettle about to bloom in the bee yard on February 24, 2017.  ©Erik Brown

Spring is in the air, though winter made a visit this week. The plants are gearing up for full bloom, with yellow daffodils and red quince bushes starting the show. The maple trees are in bloom as well, so there is nectar and pollen for the taking if the weather would warm up. I have been updating my bloom date log for 2017, and thought is was worth a quick mention as a new post.

Those Blooming Dates

Our Norway Maple tree in bloom on March 5, 2017 cErik Brown

Our Norway Maple tree in bloom on March 5, 2017 ©Erik Brown

In 2015 I wrote down plant names and first bloom dates on a page of my notebook. Last year I took a picture of the first blooms with the idea of making a visual bloom log on the site. It took a more effort to do this than I was willing to spend, so it never quite happened. For 2017 I decided to simplify the approach and show a table of plants and bloom dates by year.

You can look at the page, it is a work in progress. So far a half-dozen or so plants have bloomed in 2017, and I still need to track down some pictures from last year. I have missed some plants, especially in 2015. So far every year is warmer earlier than the previous. In 2015, the daffodils bloomed on April 10; in 2016 on March 10; and this year on February 23. The table is fairly compact and shows the yearly dates side by side for each plant.

Mars the Undefeated

As I mentioned last post, Mars is pretty weak right now. We had 70+ F degrees a week ago, which I assume was good for the hive. The past few days it has been colder and with freezing nighttime temperatures. I checked the screened bottom board on Mars this morning and the cluster area is still pretty small. Cross your fingers for me.

To make a prairie (1755)

Our title appears in the first line of a poem by Emily Dickinson, an American poet who lived from 1830 to 1886 and published very little in her lifetime. After Dickinson’s death, her younger sister Lavinia discovered the poems and sought to publish them. Publishers insisted on heavily editing Dickinson’s poems to meet the literary standards and styles of the time, so it wasn’t until 1955 that a complete set of Dickinson’s poetry in their original form became available. This was The Poems of Emily Dickinson published by the scholar Thomas H. Johnson.

Dickinson did not use titles, so her poems are typically identified by the first sentence and a number representing the rough chronological order for when the poem appeared in her writings. While it is not exactly clear when this poem was written, it is roughly the 1,755th out of 1,775 poems. The verse is thought to represent the notion that you can achieve a dream or vision (a revery) with the few tools available. In this case, making a prairie with only a clover and a bee.

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee.
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.

In my case, this seemed a good line for a post re-introducing the bloom log I am hoping to maintain. Perhaps the simplicity of the poem will inspire me to keep the more simple log up to date.

May you prosper and find honey.

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5 thoughts on “A clover and one bee

  1. Woke up to 12 deg F. Not a bud in sight. Zip. Zilch. Nada, and snow in the forecast. Soooooooo jelly of your flowers!!!! Hopefully, they’ll help Mars pull through.

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    • So sorry for your coldness. We had 55+ today and are expecting 60+ the next two days. Of course, this weekend we might have snow. I would love to help Mars along with some brood or other resources, just not comfortable stealing from the other fledgling hives so she is on her own I guess. Hope you see some warm and blossoms soon!

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    • Thanks, Prospect. It’s poetry, I think, and meant as a metaphor. Or something like that. I’m not sure a proper prairie includes a lawn, although perhaps these days it does. Ms Dickinson was a bit of a recluse, so I’m sure she never actually built a prairie on her own, let alone with bees.

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