Sunday, April 15, 2012

Birds, Bees, Butterflies

Last weekend slipped by in a flash…don’t mind that here in St. Lucia, it was a 4 day weekend; being a freelancer/self-employed, such generous holidays rarely turn out to be days off. In saying that I immediately think, yes, cos yuh still working hard not smart … and that is still true, though not as badly true as in the past!

So what struck me these last two weeks is all about nature: I am starting on a little journey, learning to be a beekeeper. My friend Paul is running a small course – he’s so enthusiastic about the importance of bees and of trying to get back towards more natural ‘bio-dynamic’ beekeeping – it’s contagious. 

On Saturday last, I got to go meet the bees – I have a starter hive as part of the course and I got to go open it up and look at what’s inside. I have a queen – saw her, and there are eggs, drones, lots of worker bees and some honey in there. It was fantastic! When we got there, we saw a swarm that was probably a mating swarm from one of the other hives also – see the video – it looks like the background’s moving, but that’s the bees.

Funnily enough, up until I went to the hive, I’ve had 2 or 3 bees visiting my studio regularly – coming in, buzzing around the gates and my head…Paul used to say its them calling me to be a beekeeper J it must be coincidence, but haven’t seen them this week.
Me on the right in white lifting a frame of bees out of the hive
Late the week before, we were given an early Easter present also – a brave little hummingbird decided the place to build her nest was right outside our front door. Now with 3 dogs of our own and a huge Rotweiller-Doberman from next door who seems to think he lives here, all of us, and a cat…she seems totally happy with her choice of nesting place. She getting quite used to us photographing her, videoing her and passing in and out of the door: she rarely moves from her nest when we pass by now…just keeps an eye on us!
Our little Easter eggs - 2 tiny Hummingbird eggs in the fern

In less positive news – one morning on my occasional walk-jog, I overheard a conversation between a walker and a cleaner – the walker said “They always claim you all wouldn’t have a job if people didn’t throw their rubbish down!” Don’t know for elsewhere, but in St. Lucia, people really do say that. But the cleaner replied, “Well rubbish or not, we have to keep the outside of the property looking good for the guests!” (He was a Sandals Grande employee). 

As I jogged and walked that day I looked around everywhere – bottles, plastic, old this n that all over the place…nasty.
Just across from Landings in the area where we park.
Later that morning I dropped my Dad to the other end of Rodney Bay for his Aqua Aerobics class and witnessed the PILES of garbage left over from the Holiday weekend…
Diligent NCC workers clean up piles of garbage dumped by nasty people
In my mind, it’s simple sense to see that these people’s time is being wasted… If we didn’t dump our garbage, they could still be employed but on much more productive things – pruning bushes and trees, planting flowers, painting walls, making the surroundings cleaner all round and more aesthetically pleasing. 

I know we don’t have enough public bins, but It’s so easy for people to take their garbage home with them…or at least dump it properly in the few public bins we have. St. Lucia will not manage to hold on to being Simply Beautiful much longer if we don’t get a bit smarter when it comes to looking after our own mess.

And my nature inspired story ends…with a very odd encounter with a butterfly at Jade Mountain…I had just finished lunch and was chatting with my friend when a butterfly started fluttering around my face, ear, shoulder…seemed to be determined to land – and so it did – on my nose! It tickled :-) It flew off, landed again on my lips, then my shoulder and finally decided its mission was accomplished and flew off. I’ve never had a butterfly land on me before…even as kids there were hundreds of butterflies in the garden in those days and we’d chase them and play among them, and try to catch them, but never had one landed on me. 

What a couple of weeks ;-) 
“One must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been.” Sophocles