We went to the arboretum today. Here’s Mary Isabelle to greet us- Even though the temperatures are still summer-like, the sights and sounds and smells are of fall. Leaves crunching underfoot, migratory birds in big groups, chattering away, bees of all kinds busily gathering nectar from the goldenrod and fall asters, the colors yellow, purple, red, orange.
I saw this honeybee, I think she must’ve been at the end of her life. She was just sitting here, not gathering nectar or moving much. I know that honeybees work hard for the good of the hive until they die and I wondered, do you still call that altruism, when the creature that gives its life’s work for the good of all just does it? I want to read a book about bees, they are fascinating creatures. My friend told me that dragonflies live seven years- that was news to me, I thought they lived only one season, so much to learn! We sat for quite awhile beside a pond. In its center was the biggest bullfrog I’ve ever seen, he’s there in the middle. We sat and sat, very still, and before long found ourselves in the very center of a group of goldfinches who must’ve been stopping for water and food mid-migration or perhaps before taking off for the day. We felt their little wings whoosh past us, within 2 feet of us, a cloud of goldfinches, behind, beside, in front of us. They paused by the pond in groups to drink and to eat pieces of algae they picked out of the water, it looked like green spaghetti going into their little gullets. There were also cedar waxwings, with masks around their eyes and a yellow stripe at the end of their tails. They’d stopped to eat and drink as well. Our friend Hely told us that the waxwings take care of each other in migration. They never leave a food stop until every last bird has had something to eat. And if they find cedar berries, they will pass berries down the line until every bird has had some. Visited the glade, of course, colors are changing in the hills behind, too. And the river. And a millipede.
And some woods and prairie sounds