My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween Bumblebee

This was our lone trick-or-treater on Halloween, but she didn't even ring our doorbell demanding goodies. Instead, decked out in a very convincing costume rich with festive Halloween colors, she was quite content to get her sweets from our Russian Sage...

I think she's a Bombus sylvicola, but I'm not sure.
Any entomologists in the house? :-)

In a place that usually braces itself for a Halloween snowstorm, it's a little spooky to see a bumble bee on still-blooming flowers on a day warm enough to hike in t-shirts. It was this way for most of October and is supposed to continue well into November. It's just not rightl! But I guess it was good for the trick-or-treaters - including bees!

Photobucket has some fun new photo editing features, and inspired by Gilding Lilies, who enhances her already-beautiful photos with such lovely artistic effects, I tried one of them for the first time to soften the edges on this picture. I really like the result! How 'bout you? :-)

Speaking of bumbles and bees, I was guilty of a pretty funny bumble that hosed my poor "Bee" yesterday. We have a wonderful Zen alarm clock, and when it chimed us awake yesterday morning at 5:45 we both agreed that we could have used more sleep. But we got up, made the bed, let the dogs out, and BW was just putting the kettle on when he said, "Something's wrong with these clocks! That can't be right!" The digital clocks on the stove and microwave both read "4:23." I looked at our battery operated clock on the dining room wall, and it read the same.

Seems when I was cleaning our bedroom the day before and dusted the Zen clock, I'd unknowingly spun the little alarm clock hand dial! Mah bad! I was wide awake so just stayed up, but Bee - who was an awfully good sport about my dusting bumble - crawled back into the made bed and got his extra hour and 15 minutes of beauty sleep. :-)


  1. I love the soft edges on your bumblebee photo! I'm tickled to know I inspired you.
    We didn't have any trick or treaters, so sad. There was a deer in the yard, maybe that was a costume, but I didn't know it.

  2. I too like the special photo effect. It highlights the bee and flower beautifully. I must say you're quite brave though cuz if I saw a bee, I'd be fleeing in the opposite direction instead of getting up close for a picture!

    That's a beautiful alarm clock you have! What a wonderful sound to wake up to. And I'd also follow in Bee's example -- snuggle back in for that extra hour of sleep! Sleep is very precious, ya know! LOL!

  3. What a beautiful photo! And yes, the soft edges are very nice indeed. I like the animated bumblebee as well--is that another Photobucket trick? I'm not familiar with Photobucket at all. Meanwhile, I too have a Zen alarm clock and so that story was also really fun!

  4. The photo is gorgeous Laurie, I love the soft edge effects. And you caught the bumble bee is in such perfect pose.

    I must say, I kind of like this trend of animal trick or treaters...with my snail, Jennifer's deer, and your bumbler we might be witnessed the first edge of a new trend! And the treats the animals look for are surely of the healthy variety!

    I've never tried Photobucket, I've used Flickr...sure whether they have photo editing, and their site is very poorly designed. (IMO)

    Cool alarm clock! I suppose waking up and finding out you're early is better than waking up late and having to scramble.

    Our house is a little wonky when it comes to clocks too; we set them all in varying degrees of fast, to give us an extra time cushion. So, our bedroom clock is 25 minutes fast, the living room clock is 10 minutes fast, etc...telling time at our place is a bit of a mad tea party.

  5. That's a gorgeous photo of the bee on the sage, Laurie! The softening has a very nice effect on it.

    Your weather sounds perfect and if we could trade, I certainly would!

    That's funny about the alarm clock. lol I've thought about getting a zen alarm clock for a while now. They seem so nice! On Monday, I made Mike an hour late to work by setting the alarm wrong. What's going on this week with alarm clock mishaps? lol

  6. Jennifer ~ I'm so glad you like it, especially since you were my muse! :-)
    I think the deer was definitely a trick-or-treater. I didn't count our deer, because they come around looking for handouts every day of the year, whereas the bumblebee was definitely a stranger in these parts at this time of year!

    VW ~ Thanks! I thought that photo was perfect for trying that effect, and you're right, the bee is really highlighted! You wouldn't have fled that bee, she was very docile. In fact, she not only let me get really close to her with the camera (jostling the sage branches as I did) without acting at all disturbed, she let me stroke her fuzzy little back, too! They really are like little teddy bears! :-)

    We've had that alarm clock for at least 12 years and just love it! It's a really calm way to be awakened, and sets a much calmer tone for the day. I especially noticed it when I was working.

    Bee would agree that sleep is precious! :-)

    Daphne ~ Thank you, I'm glad you like it! The animated bee is one I"ve had in my stash forever, I got it off some free graphics site once. I know there are graphic animation web sites out there, but I've never used one. PhotoBucket lets you do lots of fun stuff to your images, I've only used a few of their features so far.

    I'm impressed but not surprised that you also have the Zen alarm clock! :-) Our clock face has a sky background, but I've seen several pretty designs. Which to you have? Have you seen the travel alarm size they have now? And the Tibetan Bowl phone thingy? Cool!

  7. Rose ~ Thank you so much! I took quite a few photos but this is the only one that had the bee come out well focused. It kept wanting to focus on the flowers no matter what I did! I'm sure it's an operator error thing, I need to figure out the trick! I had to trash what otherwise would have been some even better shots, but I'm happy with this one just the same.

    I think you may be right about this new trend in critter trick-or-treaters! And they're always welcome at our houses! :-)

    I was just starting to figure out Flickr when they went and changed a bunch of stuff, and despite Molly's willingness and efforts to help me, I had such a devil of a time with it I bailed and returned to PhotoBucket. PhotoBucket is slower than Flickr on uploading, but I find it much easier to navigate and really love some of their features.

    You're right about waking up early being a lot better than being awakened late! I find that about getting to airports or appointments... I'd rather get there early and read a book while I wait than be rushing to make it on time (and worrying about whether I will!)

    LOL about your clock! Alice in Wonderland popped into my head as I started reading that part of your comment, so I burst out laughing when you compared it to a mad tea party! :-D

    Molly ~ I appreciate your lovely compliment on the bee photo and its special effect too, Molly, bless your heart! :-)

    Believe me, if I could figure it out I'd be sending this weather your way! Supposed to be in the low 70's the next two or three days. Wish I could at least share it with you!

    Oh, the Zen alarm clocks are wonderful! I highly recommend you get yourselves one for a Christmas present! If you have to be awakened artificially, this is the best way I know of. (I'm sure you've seen those lamps that gradually brighten, which seems gentle too, but I'd be afraid of oversleeping with one of those. I like the sweet chimes!)

    How funny we both unwittingly sabotaged our husband's alarm clocks! Hmm, what strange subconscious motives are afoot? LOL


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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