What a Wonderful World

Last night I went out to feed the bees.  It’s the time of year for them to get some sugar water to make sure they have enough food to get safely through the winter.  It had been a busy day and I’d forgotten to do that.  So it was pitch black when I went out to do it and my flashlight, on the verge of expiring, was shining very dimly.

So my evening routine was disrupted and my flashlight wasn’t operating properly.

Those were lucky circumstances.

It was a dark, cool, clear, moonless night.  The stars were magnificent.  Few things are more awe-inspiring than the Milky Way stretched across a clear, moonless sky.

I stopped, took at deep breath and smiled.

It’s a crazy messed-up world.  But it’s also a beautiful place.

I’m awakened by a rooster crow each morning and I fall asleep each night holding my wife’s hand.

That’s the reality that I remind myself I must never take for granted.

What I focus on determines what I miss.

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12 comments on “What a Wonderful World

  1. DM says:

    Good stuff Bill. I also wake up to the sound of a rooster and fall asleep holding my wife’s hand 😉 Here in Iowa last night it was also exceptionally clear. I came inside and suggested to my wife we step outside for just a couple of minutes and check out the stars. Yep. We are both blessed. DM

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    • Bill says:

      Taking in the awesomeness of a starry sky shouldn’t be a radical act, yet in our culture these days it almost seems like one. Glad y’all noticed it in Iowa too. I just came in from chores and it’s beautiful again tonight. I try to keep reminding myself to pay attention to such things…

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  2. Bob Braxton says:

    hip o’ what I miss

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  3. Yes, it is a beautiful world. The night sky is such a fine reminder….

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  4. Fox says:

    We had just that kind of moment a few nights ago, a chance to observe the stars. It’s amazing how much beauty you can find if you look.

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  5. shoreacres says:

    I’m so curious about “feeding the bees”. I’ve never heard of such a thing. Do you have hives? Or do you put the sugar water out for just anyone who’s cruising through? Is this something everyone should be doing, like for hummingbirds? Inquiring minds want to know!

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    • Bill says:

      Yes we have a hive. In the fall it’s a good idea to feed them just to assure they’ll have enough honey to survive a tough winter. So we dissolve sugar in water and feed them by putting it in a mason jar that sits on a tray that slides into the hive entrance. We have a top feeder as well, but I’ve come to prefer the jar method. I don’t think it’s necessary to do it for hummingbirds, but lots of folks like to feed them just to attract them to their porches.

      As an aside, we don’t feed our bees except in the fall and very early spring, when they don’t have enough to eat naturally and we’re just trying to make sure they make it through the winter. Once it gets cold they go into a ball, with the queen in the middle. By beating their wings they keep the ball of bees warm enough and the ball moves across the hive eating stored honey. That’s how they survive the winter (interestingly, before going into winter mode they drive all the male bees, called drones, out of the hive to starve as they serve no purpose other than to fertilize the queen. Winter in the hive is a female-only club). Industrial beekeepers feed their bees HFCS year-round and that’s how most of the honey available in supermarkets is made (usually overseas). It’s not real honey if made that way. The honey we eat is made from wildflowers, never sugar water, and we never give our bees HFCS under any circumstance.

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      • shoreacres says:

        Very interesting. Some of this is coming back, now that I’ve had my memory refreshed.

        Down here, feeding the hummers is a big deal. They cluster here beginning in late September-mid-October, and feed heavily before their trip south. Everyone gets into the act – the Audubon societies and etc. provide information, garden clubs hang feeders, festivals are held, and so on.

        During the last two years of drought, it was especially critical, because they didn’t have enough natural food to sustain them on their journey. You could see them trying to feed on things like colored antennae balls on cars. It was so sad – I put out feeders myself and for about three weeks must have had 30 hummers around.

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  6. Leigh says:

    “What I focus on determines what I miss.” Well said. I have realized that so much of my thought life is habit, and not always good habit. Over the years I’ve tried to retrain myself to find things to be thankful rather than complain. It is so easy to complain! Learning how to be thankful in all things (not necessarily for all things) takes practice, but what a difference it makes in how my day goes.

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