About two years ago, I headed out to Veterans Oasis Park in Chandler for a last-chance-for-the-season effort at bird photos. Sadly, the birds had mostly flown.
By my standards it was a hot afternoon and I almost gave up to head back to air-conditioned comfort. But at the last minute I saw some bees on a bush at about camera level. Since I didn’t need to crouch down and then get back up, and since I couldn’t be near the ones I love, I decided to see whether I could get good close-ups of the ones I was near. As usual, the answer was yes and no. Yes, occasionally; no, frequently.
That started my ongoing Dance with Bees, a dance I pursued later that year in Vancouver where I spent a lot of time as my mother made her final passage. When she snoozed, or when I needed a break, I’d go out to the garden to engage with the bees again.
As with the cormorants, Mom was uncharacteristically critical of my choice of photographic subject when I showed her one of my better shots. I laughed then, and I laugh now, thinking of her reaction.
The other day I happened upon a bee again — the first one I’d seen this season. As I lined it up and zoomed in, I heard Mom’s voice again.
He’s an ugly little fellow, isn’t he?
And vantage points aside, catching them in mid-air is a miracle.