The Bee’s Knees

I just had the most magical experience!

My cat Momo found a dying bumble bee in my fireplace. To her credit, she wasn’t trying to kill it, but it must have been there for a while because it was weak and couldn’t fly. I hate to see anything frightened and dying, so I wondered how I could help.

Since the bee was clearly harmless in its condition, I decided to get tactile. To my surprise, it barely hesitated when it gingerly walked onto my finger. I took it outside and placed it on my hanging petunia plant, hoping it would do whatever it is that bees do on flowers and regain its strength. Instead, it teetered around helplessly and seemed disoriented.

Maybe bees don’t get their nectar from petunias, I thought.

So I guided it onto my finger again and placed it on a cluster of orange flowers in my yard (I don’t know the name.) I sat and observed for a while, but nothing happened. At least this pretty flower is a better place to die than my fireplace, stalked by my cats, I thought. I was about to give up hope and satisfy myself with the knowledge that I’d returned it to a more natural environment, but I had one last idea.

I retrieved a chopstick and some local raw honey from my pantry and returned to the bee. I dipped the chopstick for a small dewdrop of honey and dabbed it on a petal near the bee, and hovered the chopstick nearby. I am no expert on bee anatomy, but what I assume was its tongue darted out and started consuming the honey! Slowly, it regained mobility, and its legs and antennae started to squirm. Within another moment or two, the bee was buzzing and soared off into sky, rising high above my avocado tree, with my other kitty Tetsu gazing on in wonder! 🐝💛 I was elated and awestruck!

I could not believe the honey trick worked. In fact, a Facebook friend commented that Virgil noted back in 31 B.C. that the way to save bees was to give them honey. I was slightly concerned there might be some negative side effect to giving an adult bee honey, so I’m relieved to know that I have validation from ancient Roman poets 🙂 

Anyway, this little episode made my day. Like that Starfish Story says, you may not be able to make a difference for all, but you can always make a difference for one.

Godspeed, Little bumble!

*Note: the photo above does not depict the bee I saved this morning. I snapped that shot at the San Diego Botanical Gardens earlier this summer. 

Asia Farewell Tour: Laos

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You know when you see photos of beautiful places on Pinterest or Instagram or wherever, and then you go to visit those places yourself and they’re certainly still beautiful, but not as striking as the heavily enhanced shots you saw on social media? Well, Luang Prabang, Laos is not one of those places. It is every bit as breathtaking as you would imagine, and it was by far my favorite stop on our Indochina itinerary. Continue reading

Okinawa: Eating Our Way Through the Last Stretch

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Cafe Pipineo is about 10 minutes from my apartment and serves the most luscious cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had my whole life.

Welp! We are just about 6 weeks from our presumed rotation date, and the Marines still haven’t given us orders for the next assignment. Never mind that pretty much everyone else in our lives knows where they are going. Chuck and I are masters of the “hurry up and wait” philosophy, at this point. That said, I continue to assume that we will depart Okinawa this spring. With our time here drawing to a close, I am hoping we can squeeze a few more adventures into our remaining weeks – however big or small.

One thing I will surely miss are the darling cafés that dot the island.  They typically offer just 2-4 menu items at any given time, which sounds limiting but actually ensures a more memorable culinary experience. Of course, the ingredients are always fresh and local, and the décor is consistently unique and charming.

I won’t mind having more options (especially vegetarian and/or gluten free) when I return to the States, but I don’t know what I’ll do without a hearty guarantee of savory Japanese curry, garnished with local vegetables known to bless Okinawans with the longest lifespans on the planet.…  Continue reading

The Earth Laughs in Flowers

I first visited the Cosmos Fields in Okinawa 2 years ago, and I had a great time frolicking in the sea of pink as Chuck humored me with a couple of cute photos. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit to having more photo-shoot oriented fun when I took my friend Sally to see them for the first time.

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Journey to Middle Earth: North Island

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As Chuck and I approached our third Christmas away from the U.S., we realized – with a smattering of guilt – that we had not gone home for a single one of them. Of course, we had made it home on other occasions, and family is always welcome to join our international excursions, but this time we made it a point to invite Chuck’s parents and siblings to join us for a road trip in New Zealand. Continue reading