Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Poor Little Guy

Although I readily and summarily dispatch with impunity to the appropriate level (based on degree of invasiveness) of insect hell those creeping or flying things that happen to invade my personal space, especially indoors, when in the great outdoors* I prefer to allow God’s little creatures to go about doing their buggy things in peace.

Thus, it was, this morning while riding about on the scooter, that I found my heart breaking for the small bee that’s never going to make it back to his hive because unbeknownst to either of us he was on a collision course that would lead him directly into the path of my helmet.  He smacked into it with a pronounced thunk and bounced off onto the crook of my left elbow where he promptly in great confusion plunged his small stinger into the same area where for the past four days I’d been picked and prodded with needles during my hospital stay.  I flicked him off me hastily and pulled his tiny barb  from my flesh as quickly as I could.

I don’t think much venom got inside me because the pain was brief and my skin didn’t swell, but I felt terrible for the poor little guy, losing his life merely because he happened to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I’m certain that he didn’t have a thought process like, “Oh!  This guy’s helmet hit me so I’m going to sting him,” going through his small brain.  His act of suicide was totally accidental  I don’t know if they’ll remember him at the hive or do anything to immortalize him for his giving all he had to give, but if I’m watching Jeopardy later and scratching my elbow furiously I’ll be sure to toast his memory with whatever sweet libation I happen to be enjoying.  Perhaps some mead.  It would seem fitting.

 Not the actual bee of whom I write.  Just a random bee in a picture I took in 1997 when digital photography as we've come to know it was still in its infancy.

*I use “great outdoors” loosely.  Generally, I don’t consider being out of my recliner in the living room all that great, unless I’m scootering.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Painting the Town Autumn

Facebook these days is full of young ladies figuratively jumping for joy because pumpkin spice flavored everything will soon be on the shelves and in cups everywhere.  I’m not sure what it is about Autumn and its decors, flavors, goodies, colors and all that stuff that somehow creeps into us and makes us feel a kind of relaxed peacefulness that escapes us the rest of the year, but even though I was never, not for even a fleeting second, a young girl enthralled with Fall, I admit that even as an old man I’m touched by that same spirit this time of year when it’s too cool to take the scooter out in the mornings or evenings without bundling up.

I’ve been savoring my rides as of late, riding relatively slowly up and down side streets all over “da valley” and looking for pretty places to photograph.  Today on such a ride I’m forced to admit that my spirit skipped a beat when I discovered this house already getting into the season that isn’t quite here yet, but will be soon.

And just around the corner from it, this simple decoration that scored the same kind of reaction in old Mr. Grumpypants here.  Not the sort of thing I’d admit feeling to most of the people who know my name and for whom my crusty reputation precedes me, but it’s a feeling that makes me feel inside like, well, pretty much what I imagine it would feel to be in the body of a bride to be with her gang of buzzed ladies in waiting at some random winery with mums and pumpkins decorating the place all over.  Not a bad feeling at all!

 Although I don’t think of Halloween as a holiday of any sort because everybody knows that on a real holiday most people get a day off from work, and in spite of darkening my porch for the past number of years on October 31st so I don’t have to keep getting off my lazy ass every time the doorbell rings, there’s something I admit to enjoying when I see homes and other places festooned with the props that make it something delightful to many.

 I’m ready for the ambitious folks out there to start painting the town with Autumn and Halloween.  As for me, I’ll be the guy on the scooter taking pictures of your efforts and secretly enjoying them as if I were back in grade school with a lifetime of Falls to come and to look forward to.