After three days of rain and fog I went out to the garden to inspect the damage. Clumps of parsley, once proud mini-forests, were flattened to the ground. Carrot tops were tangled into one…bad…hair…day. I walked, squish-squish, over to a clump of yellow calendulas whose petals, heavy with moisture, drooped like basset hound ears.
Then I saw the bumblebee.
She was huddled in the center of a flower, motionless. “Water bombs” covered her body and pasted her wings against her abdomen. She looked as though she’d been in a mud fight.
As it was late afternoon, I knew she wouldn’t be going anywhere tonight. Question was, would she survive the night away from her cozy hive?
The next morning, I went outside to investigate. I found her, just as you see in the photo, hanging vertically with each claw embedded in the soft petals like a climber holding ice axes to perform a self-arrest while sliding down a slope. At some point in our bumblebee’s slide, her abdomen came to rest on a leaf.
I set up my camera and tripod and took a number of shots, all the while thinking, “Is she still alive, or dead, and thus mechanically ‘frozen’ to the flower?”
I focused my lens on the antenna by her right eye.
It moved…she was alive!
I’d read about a bumblebee’s metabolism, that it’s 75 percent higher than a hummingbird’s. And that they can survive in temperatures which are too low for them to fly. To warm up, they shiver their flight muscles, much like we shiver when we’re cold. Blah, blah, blah…
I was not thinking about all that science stuff while lying on the wet grass watching a little bee come back to life. Rather, I was astounded by the bee’s built-in tenacity. I couldn’t help but wonder how I would deal with a life-or-death situation, let’s say, bobbing around the Gulf of Alaska in a life raft?
I gently brought my mind back to the here and now. As the bee activated each leg and slowly pulled her body up and into the saddle of the flower, I thought: If a bee is provided with the ability to overcome a night out in the rain, surely we are endowed with the courage, will power, and determination to help us overcome life’s obstacles.
Just something to think about…
Thanks for stopping by to read and share. Cheers and blessings,