Sunday, July 3, 2011

Entry #21: The Bumble Bees' Dramatic Return, July's Liberty and The Privilege of Sweating the Small Stuff

Dear All:
The shrubs are beaming green, the trees are proud and the leaves are as giggly as could be on one of the most breath taking days of the year.  Our sprinklers are singing; the flowers are bejeweled in every rich color that exists and I have to say, July is radiant in its final bloom. 

Brady and I spotted a ruby headed Woodpecker this morning on our south lawn as this wizard of a bird; popped, popped, popped on the maple tree, then clucked, then chirped, and quickly shot away. I was like Brady, "Let's put this sighting on the calendar"!

As we watch nature's beauty each day, (realizing how fragile it is & nourish our thoughts for its survival,) we are honoring our independence on Monday - which is amazing if you look out into the world and observe the continual struggles for freedom. If we reflect how fortunate we are and are in agreement that sweating the small stuff is a privilege, right? We already knew that though, of course!  

Lately, the bumble bees' have us in wonder of their unique behavior and potential collapse. However, bees had their moment in Chinatown earlier this spring - which was as always, phenomenal. 

It seems a swarm of about 15,000 bees descended on a lamp post in Chinatown, which is one of three that have hit Manhattan this season. Good things are happening if these bees have showed up in NY of all places! 

I experienced a swarm -- the width of my block & approximately fifteen feet high (on Coleridge Street in San Francisco) on my way to work one morning. As I looked up and quietly passed along their sweet calm humming, I was not afraid, just stunned of how many there were. I remember thinking to myself, oh boy, I have to walk through this?

I did mention this to our dear guide Peter at Seatuck Environmental and he explained that this occurs when the "Queen Bee" is being replaced. 

"There is a definite seasonality to swarming. Bees of all ages join a swarm but the majority are younger (4-23 days old) bees. Most swarms settle within three meters (ten feet) of the ground but some land on the ground while others cluster at higher locations."  

As July enchants us (like Memorial Day) with its red, white and blue fun, we should honor this day where we signed the US Declaration of Independence! We can all laugh now that I am trying to even discuss the Declaration of Independence. He He, KK Get Over Yourself! 

But when you think of the the people fighting for their lives at this very moment (Mid East and Africa) for their freedom to vote as they want, marry whom they want or worship who they want, you have to take a breath and thank god everyday that we live in this country. 

July 4th is the day we signed this controversial piece of paper and made our rich lives what it is today. "The sources and interpretation of the Declaration have been the subject of much scholarly inquiry. Having served its original purpose in announcing independence, the text of the Declaration was initially ignored after the American Revolution. Its stature, particularly over the second sentence, a sweeping statement of human rights."

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that amount these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."--Wikipedia. How dear is that? 

I suppose I am going within for the answers on this one, but how can we dare sweat the small stuff when people really have no chance out there, even when they are born? Everyone knows I am always up for a negative yak every now and again, but inside I know it is not right to complain of the heavy rains, or the traffic (because I am late) or other's actions that I may see as unfavorable. I do not believe any of us take being "free" for granted - ever. But maybe when we are bibbling about the super small stuff that we don't really have any control over, we may look inside for a little light to guide us in the right direction.

Thank you for reading in your busy days. I am sure that the bumble bees are much smarter than we give them credit for, "take that" they buzz! I am going to thank god everyday for giving me freedom (to vote; to marry whom I want, and to worship nature if I please) right here in the United States. I am going to look for the light inside to guide me in the right direction when I am not focusing on what is important. 

Also, please keep "hope" close to the heart & pray for the women, children & animals who need our fierce protection at all times. 

With Love & Sincerely,

P.S. Love you all til the cows come home!


  1. The international and dear James Fierro writes:
    you are so good.
    one of your fans.

  2. Hi James:
    This is a huge compliment coming from you because you are so busy
    saving this planet! yahoo.

  3. Hey, Girlfriend. Thanks for the words of wisdom and reminding us all to Get Over Ourselves and hope that all those in need will receive and those in turmoil will find a place of peace. Love Ya!!!

  4. Hello Honey,
    Thank you for bringing my often distracted attention to some of nature's smallest yet also so important creatures.

    Are you out on the high seas? Hope you have a great trip. I can't wait to come visit. Love ya, Cindy.

  5. Amen, sister! This is a great post. Those are wise words about not sweating the small stuff. You made me reflect on what it means to be American and to have freedom.

    I laughed out loud with this, "We can all laugh now that I am trying to even discuss the Declaration of Independence. He He, KK Get Over Yourself!" I had to memorize and recite the Declaration of Independence in Mr. Lobasso's class! I still remember those first few lines. Were you in that class with me?

    And love the bit about the bees. You rock. Love, Susan

  6. The Director of Seatuck Writes In:

    Hi Kristen -

    Another beautiful blog post - thanks for sharing.

    Just one point of clarification regarding the bumblebees ...

    Those large mating "swarms" (15,000 in Chinatown, the one you saw in San Francisco) are almost certainly honeybees, not one of the bumblebee species. While bumblebees are, in fact, "colonial" in the sense that they form familial colonies in a single hive, their groups are much smaller, usually less than 100 bees. Bumblebee colonies are small because they don't overwinter; they have to re-form every year around the queen, which is the only bee that survives the winter. Honeybees, on the other hand, are able to form much larger colonies because they overwinter as a group - individuals live short lives, but the colony continues for years and years. We had a honeybee hive removed from the Environmental Center that was estimated to contain 60,000 bees and to be over a dozen years old!

    One other interesting note: honeybees are not native to North America, but many bumblebee species are. While it's honeybees that produce the honey we eat and have come to play a large role in commercial agriculture, native bumblebees and other native pollinators play an important role in our local ecosystems. In fact, some entomologists worry that the proliferation of honeybees may come at the expense of local pollinators. Their large numbers and ability to overwinter as colony gives them a competitive advantage in the search for the nectar all pollinators need. It's for this reason that Seatuck decided against installing an educational honeybee hive at the Environmental Center. LIke you, we try to enjoy and celebrate the sight of bumblebees and other native pollinators!

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Keep up the great writing - I look forward to your next post.


  7. Enrico:
    It is an honor that you are reading our blog!

    Thank you for clarifying my entry on the bumble vs the honey bees. Gee I learn things every day and I am so thankful for that. Our bees are awesome to observe in every way.

    We are all about learning through honesty here at Get Over Yourself, me especially, oh boy! So thank you again for helping me and guiding me on this journey.

    Thank you again and hope to meet you at Seatuck very soon.


  8. Hi Patricia:
    My dear queen in San Francisco, thank you for your thoughtful words of wisdom always. I always remember your happy smile and green sparkly eyes! As you do your ladies (in Africa, is that right?), let's keep "hope" close to the heart and seek protection for those who need it most in this big bright and beautiful world.
    Love you lamb,

  9. Hi Cindy:
    Thank you for always appreciating the nature section of this lil blog! Nature is god - just look at the window.
    Yes we are out on the seas and it is heaven at its best. I can't catch my breath and the birds are so happy here too!
    Love you til the cows come home lamb.
    P.S. See you soon lovey!

  10. Hi Sue:
    My love there you are working so hard for the fierce protection of our baby animals that roam the earth with us. I am crossing my fingers for your doggies.
    And for laughing at me laugh at myself because that really is the point of everything!
    You are the best and I love you with all of my heart.

  11. Honey, another beautiful post... boy, so much to learn about our Bees!

  12. My dear and always funny sister Abby writes in:

    Dear Krissy:

    Thanks for reminding us not to sweat the small stuff. At times our lives( become one BIG detail!!!!! "This too shall pass".


  13. Dear Ab:
    Thanks for sharing.

    Yes I can remind myself of my silly small stuff self today again and again. Yikes Mommy Get Over Yourself, Please!