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Blogospheric apiaries

I seem to be flitting about lately, like this ravenous swallowtail.

The days are shortening, faster than I would like. At the same time,  I find I am looking forward to Autumn. We’ve had a delightful spell of cooler temperatures, but, the heat and humidity are back. It won’t be long, though, before the rakes are employed in the gathering of leaves and someone will mutter  about  frost on the pumpkins.

A walk on Sunday in The Little Red Schoolhouse Woods seemed like just the thing to do. It had been quite a while since we strolled the White Oak Trail. It felt as if we were the only ones there. We weren’t, of course. Most of the woodland wanderers were off in the new nature center or on the bigger paths that surround the slough.

In a few weeks, the White Oak Trail will be covered in leaves. On this day, the trail had but a few signs of the fall weather ahead. It was quiet and green with a few red berries peaking through and felt as if this mile of forest was just sitting and waiting for the colorful gala ahead.

On the other trails, which we later wandered, were masses of children filled with all of the wonder of youth, looking for fish and turtles and frogs swimming about among the lily pads. Can you see the frog sunning here?  This pond is on one side of the trail and an apiary on the other.

We’ve watched the apiary for a few years now. The pear trees are finally bearing fruit and the bee hives fascinate me. As we read about beekeeping and how bees sometimes form their own hives in trees when the apiary boxes become full, what looked like a bunch of dried leaves slowly came alive. I wish that my camera could have gotten a closer look for me. I hope you can see on the tree what looks like a pile of leaves or a log. It  is really a massive beehive, swarming with busy workers.

Here on the Cutoff, we reside in a carved out delta of trees and wildlife that we were fortunate enough to find. A very urban area is just down the  road a ways, around the bend, with a magnificent glimpse of the far off Chicago skyline. The forests to be found are just a few turns the other way. Both seem like gifts to me.

The active hives of the apiary mean more to me than the honey they produce. They are a symbol of sorts of the lofty idea that such opposing ways of life can coexist. These sloughs and forests, carved out in a long-ago time by ice, remain places of refuge for migratory  birds and butterflies in their seasonal journeys. They rest and get nourishment just moments away from highways and byways and one of my country’s largest cities, while minutes away I reside, a simple woman who sits and taps away on keys in a dot on the speck of a spot on our earth while you sit at your computer, in an office, or library, or from a laptop in a coffeehouse, a few miles away or in another hemisphere, and we somehow connect, forming our own blogospheric apiary.

We all make pretty sweet honey, don’t you agree?

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