Image #52 – The Pipes Are Calling

Image #52aIt is July 20th. Forty-three years ago the first men landed on the moon and it is the birth date of  my dear friend Barbra Jenks.  She would have been 47-years old today but AIDS took her life in 1992.   She has been dead for more than twenty years.  It is nearly impossible to believe.

Here in North Carolina, on Fawn Hill, in 2013, life goes on and the Indian Pipes are beginning to fade.  They seem to be sprouting up everywhere on the hill around me but the earliest blooms are definitely on the down-side of growth and I have my doubts about whether the new growth will be able to match the growth spurts of the other stands. The signs of de-comp in the older stands are there in blackness that tinges the petals and the mushy texture of the stalks. Still, they are clearly producing nectar as the honey bee showed me.

Image #52

He buzzed by my ear as I lay on the soft bed of leaves in the woods trying to get “just the right shot” on the Indian Pipes. Soon I was engaged in an energetic effort to get a clear photo of this bee who worked the petals with remarkable familiarity. I couldn’t do it. He was too fast for me. I have some wonderfully focused pictures of his rear-end as he nuzzled into each petal but this grainy photo is the best I can do for a full frontal of this wonderful bee.

Life goes on. This bee knows nothing of men landing on the moon or Barbra’s untimely death. His life is short and his focus intense. There is a lesson there for all of us. ☙

3 comments on “Image #52 – The Pipes Are Calling

  1. 1snowbird says:

    appreciate this intimate affair between the pipes, the bee and yourself.
    You are surrounded by some of the oldest forests in north america –
    good of you to document it, while it’s still there. thanx

    Like

  2. […] Your image reminded me of a crocus, while some of the other images on the net looked so much like fungi I could hardly believe they were plants.  What a wonderful world this is, filled with so many remarkable and beautiful things for those who have eyes to see.  Getting the big picture is important, but you will never get the big picture if you don’t also study the small things. Indian Pipes can really teach us a thing or two about the small stuff and also the well worn adage, you can’t judge a book by its cover. For example, it is easy to look at these remarkable structures and assume they are a variation of a mushroom but they are, in fact, a plant. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture classifies it as a wildflower and their website provides pictures of the actual bloom, something I have set my sights on obtaining.  I was aware that the Indian Pipe has a source of nectar. The honey bee in the upper right corner of the collage keyed me in to that fact last summer.  The bee, by the way, is making a return appearance here in Alice’s Wanderland. He was originally featured in Image #52. […]

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