I live in a neighborhood dating back to the 20s. My house, like most, a colonial with leaded vestibule and sunroom doors, built-in shelves and wide crown molding was built in 1929. Sidewalks line most of the streets as do mature trees: flowering cherry, plum, crabapple, dogwood. In the spring, peering down the main artery that cuts our neighborhood in half, the tree-lined road is a canopy of pink, purple, white. Most evenings people walk their dogs, their children, themselves through the neat grid of the neighborhood.
Weekends in the summer the buzz starts early. Push mowers and riding mowers are fired up by 7:00 am, the racket cutting through our yards and over fences. Hedge trimmers, chain saws, weed wackers permeate the air until I no longer hear any specific machine, just a cacophony of noise. Sitting on my deck with my morning cup of coffee, I’ve come to expect it.
But during the week, in the few minutes I have before the mad dash to get ready for work, when I perform my morning inspection of the flowers and vegetables I’ve been cultivating, it’s deliciously quiet. In the stillness the only buzzing I hear are the bees flitting from one flower to the next. The little black and yellow pollinators favor the Salvia and Echinacea, float from blossom to blossom, buzz as they work. My attention fixated on them I count six, seven, eight bees hovering in the air around each plant and landing in its flowers, causing the entire row of them to hum and vibrate.
I hope they see the yellow and green squash requiring their assistance a few feet away in my little garden. They better not fill up on nectar and get too lazy to make the short trip across the driveway; there’s pollen in those flowers that need moving from male to female. I’m counting on the bees for dinners of grilled and sautéed yellow squash and zucchini. I shouldn’t worry, I’ve watched them work steadily through the day even with all the background noise.