One of the many things I love about my little railroad cottage in Wisconsin is the abundance of fat, furry bumblebees who feed from the flowering hostas that surround the front porch. I love the bumbles, perhaps perversely, partially because they ignore me entirely. Playing hard to get, so to speak.
The other critters ‘round here notice me. The baby bunnies that were around last month became instant pancakes when I walked into the yard, their floppy ears laid flat along their backs, their little shoulders melting into the grass.
The baby birds stared at me, perhaps wondering if I was about to produce a juicy worm out of my pocket.
The mosquitos most certainly notice and adore me. They come, one and all, to create a moving halo around not just my head, but my entire body, each time I step outside. They want to become intimate. Here, they say, let us land on the flesh of your eyelid, the back of your hand, the tender skin at the back of your ankle. We love you.
I do not care for the mosquitos.
I have not taken their picture.
I love everything else. The cardinals, I expected to see only in the snow, but they are here all year. Red streaks against the blue sky. Scarlet flutters among the green branches. They are a bit reserved, I’d say, but they acknowledge me as I pass by.
The squirrels and chipmunks romp around, and sit up straight and still to say hello.
The robins are a part of the family. The butterflies dip and swirl around me. The deer plunge through the underbrush right before me, taller than I could reach, and very, very fast.
The bumblebees ignore me.
They have long tongues. They can get the nectar out of the deepest flower tubes. Their buzz is soft, as I imagine their fur to be. They move slowly. I don’t startle them at all.
Bumblebees do not produce extra honey, I’ve read. Just enough for their own tribe. They have a huge impact on the number of blossoms in my yard. I cherish the bumblebees. I cherish the flowers.