Celebrating Beltane and May Day

Dear Friends,

Emerging from the chrysalis—a month and a half of  coronavirus lockdown and spine surgery recovery—it feels like a brand new day. In Sonoma County residents are now allowed to walk or bike (but not drive) to a park. Keep your mask on.

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A trailer parked on my block

I’m one of those people who finds it difficult to sit in one place and concentrate on anything for any length of time. I always knew I had a very short attention span. Holly thinks maybe I have undiagnosed ADHD. Anyway being flat on my back and having to concentrate on recovery from surgery has helped me if not to focus better at least to understand my problem better. I was pretty happy listening to novels especially when I was in the first stage of recovery and could barely get in and out of bed. As I recovered I felt more and more like multitasking, as if I actually could pick up my iPad and read Facebook posts while I’m listening to a book. Not! I can work on a jigsaw puzzle and listen to a book at the same time. Holly says that’s because you’re using different parts of the brain. Don’t try do two tasks that require words at the same time.

So I have been trying to practice doing one thing at a time. Then, reading the Audubon newsletter, I learned about bird sitting. It’s easy. You just sit and listen and watch and use all your senses to experience birds. I expanded this concept to pollinators. Bee sitting.

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Our pollinator garden

One sunny April day after I was able to walk around and sit outside in a zero gravity chair, I spent an hour or so just watching pollinators. The air was full of flying and floating things. Filaments of spider web, falling blossoms, puffs of seeds and insects moved through the air in the soft breeze. Honeybees populated the orange and the apple tree. The native bees went for the native plants. Bee segregation! Our pollinator garden starts blooming early. The native carpenter bees and bumblebees especially love the red salvia. And there are all these other little pollinators that may or may not be bees, the kind that fly in squares turning quickly at right angles, the tiny gnats that circle endlessly around each other. I was surprised at how many bugs I couldn’t identify.

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First strawberries. Eaten by a wild animal that night.

Two years ago we had a great population of carpenter bees. The females are big and shiny black, the males smaller with a smidge of yellow. A tub full of purple flowers bloomed near where I like to sit on the patio and my purple hair was constantly being dive-bombed by purple-loving bees. Then last year the bee population declined. I saw one maybe two carpenter bees and we began to wonder if they had been living in the old original redwood fence from 1948 that we had replaced the year before. My brother Don told me that when they remodeled their house in Olympia they destroyed the carpenter bees’ home in the exterior trim on their building. That year and some years after their apple orchard did not get pollinated and had no apples. So I’m delighted that the carpenter bees have returned. 

I plan to celebrate Beltane bee sitting. 

Sending virtual hugs to you all. Take care of yourselves.

Author: Molly Martin

I'm a long-time tradeswoman activist, retired electrician and electrical inspector. I live in Santa Rosa, CA. I also share a travel blog with my wife, Holly: travelswithmoho.wordpress.com.

8 thoughts on “Celebrating Beltane and May Day”

  1. I’m so glad that you’re able to enjoy the outdoors now, taking advantage of the opportunity to experience all the flying beings in your yard.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, thanks. And these babies are coming out of the bathtub and going into the garden this weekend. Happy May Day!

    Marilyn Hawkins Hawkins & Company PR Public Relations & Marketing Communications 68 Coyote Ridge Drive Walla Walla, Washington 99362 (509) 876-8202 landline (206) 601-8823 mhawkins@prhawk.com

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    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a lovely message and photo. Your writing is just wonderful. Thanks for sharing this wth us. I hope you continue to recover well from your surgery, and we all look forward to being together again. Stay safe & well.
    Love, Minerva

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Spring is almost summer, bees, butterflies, dragonflies, and those tiny flying things–a beautiful way to engage with alternate forms of life, forced into quiet reflection in this wonderful garden… glad you’re recuperating well. Hoping better things happen in the next few weeks, like letting us drive to parks. Henri

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Molly…your beautiful words help me imagine myself walking down Hyland Drive from Hyland Court, waving to you as I pass your house. Soon, I hope.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, so good to know there is another bird- and bee-watcher down the street! Alina and I spend lots of time studying who’s visiting our poppies, phacelia,
    lupine, salvia and scrofularia californica. And SO good to know there’s someone else in the ‘hood making a welcome place for native pollinators to eat. I think maybe your carpenter bees moved to our yard? There are more this year than I’ve ever seen — and some new little holes in our old redwood fence!
    Karen

    Liked by 1 person

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