Look closely at about 7 o’clock on the flower and you will see a visitor who showed up half way through the clicks of my phone camera.
I was especially glad to see him given that I had just read that this past winter’s honeybee deaths were the highest in the 13 years of research into bee mortality. A parasitic mite seems to be infesting commercial bee colonies in the United States. The problem isn’t just losing the bees themselves. It’s that the agricultural industry relies on commercially raised honeybees to pollinate $15 billion of the U.S. food crops.* I don’t know if this little guy came from a commercial hive, or a local small one. But I was really happy that he showed up!
It was left at the curb for either someone else to take and use, or for the trash collectors to pick up.
I love living in a city. I love access to museums, opera, symphony orchestras, theater and restaurants. And it literally makes me happy to walk down the street and see and hear so many people of different nationalities, languages and ethnicities. For me that makes life richer. I also love seeing what people discard. Most of the time it’s things like broken desks, or the packaging of an overly large item. But every once-in-awhile I see an item that seems to call out, “Wait! Stop and look. I have a story to tell!” And then I have the opportunity to imagine it’s history, and try to convey it’s uniqueness with my camera.
I came upon this chair while the grandchildren and I were walking the dogs. And I wondered. Had this chair been placed at a table where someone both ate and struggled to pay bills? Was it part of a set but finally got too rickety to hold its owner’s weight? Did someone place it at a desk where they worked on writing their first novel, or tried to find a job? Did they work from home? And what happened to make them abandon it? The considerate owner had placed its back legs in the uneven roots of the tree, trying to make the chair as out of people’s way as possible. That’s what gave it that delightfully off kilter angle that was both arresting and sad. It probably wouldn’t have been half as interesting to me if it had simply been placed straight up on the curb. Or even had it been laid on it’s side. I would have thought of it as just a used chair. But this askew chair up against the richly textured bark of the tree caught my eye and seemed to say, “I once was new and cared for! What have I done, other than become old? I am still able to hold my back up straight and proud. Please stay awhile, and hear my story.”
I had purchased these roses because they are my favorites: a lovely peach color, lighter in the center and ringed by a deeper hue. Sometimes the outside petals have the darker color on the tips, as you can see in the bottom rose. Once I got them home, and in the confines of my apartment, I realized that they were heavily scented. Their perfume was wonderful, but I am allergic to the fragrance. My nose started stuffing up almost immediately. What to do? I thought about giving them to a friend, but I truly loved their variegated color and didn’t want to part with them. So I put them out on the balcony. It was the end of December and while it is very rare for there to be a freeze here in the Bay Area, it was quite cold. I didn’t know how the roses would react, but the one thing that was certain was that I couldn’t keep them inside the apartment. So I took a chance and put them outside, careful to place them where I could see them from the couch. I expected that at most they would last a few days or a week. To my utter astonishment and delight, they lasted more than a month. The day I took this photo would have been my husband’s and my 44th anniversary. The fact that the roses had lasted that long was as if he had sent a bouquet.