There’s nothing quite like wandering into your own backyard when the heat of a sunny summer day begins to cool and harvesting a bowl full of berries. The strawberries like to hide beneath broad leafs and checking beneath often reveals some succulent red berry that has escaped my notice. The real question is whether or not it has escaped the notice of the slugs–those slimy gooey pests who like to sleep in the shade of strawberry bushes and occasionally awake to gorge themselves on my berries, before falling again into a sated and satisfied stupor. The strawberries above were the ones that happened to be hanging out of reach of the slugs or perhaps basking in a slender spear of sunlight into which the slug dared not venture for fear of withering away beneath that too warm ray.
The raspberries on the other hand are hanging high and no slug dares crawl those prickly vines to feast upon them. However, the bees have no such fear of high places and buzz from blossom to blossom gathering nectar so that the entire berry patch is alive with hum of tiny wings and striped, furry bodies zizzing to and fro. Unlike the nasty tempered wasp, however, the bees appear largely content to mind their own business and ignored me as I waded in amongst the tall vines which lolled above my head, laden with ripening berries. Surrounded by an escort of bees I filled my bowl with berries with nary a fly-by from an angry bee. who I had disturbed. and without a bite or a sting. Harmoniously we worked side by side.
The bees returned to their hives that evening with the raw ingredients for their own sweet repast and I returned victorious to the house … where my harvest was promptly devoured by always famished children. Though they may have enjoyed the fruits of my pickings, they had missed out on the pleasure of harvesting with the bees on a warm summer day.