June 4th, 2017

caillebotte_man at his window

The Buzz

The bee probably wasn't trying to prevent me from going back into my house, but it was having that effect. I don't know enough about bees to know why it was hanging around on my porch, but I know it wasn't a queen so it must not have been looking for a place to hive. If it was a worker it was wasting its time, as neither nectar nor pollen is produced by my walls, by the beams and raters of the roof, or the aluminum screen door, yet it spent several minutes buzzing around those things. But maybe it was just a drone, with no particular task to perform, and simply trying to stave off boredom.

I wasn't particularly afraid that the bee would sting me as I tried to get through my door. It was more that I just didn't want it to sneak into the house with me. That has happened before, and then I've had to spend far too much time trying to get the bug back outside, and when a bee is in the house My fear that it will indeed sting me increases. So I waited and waited, until the bee became interested in the beams farther away from the door, and then I rushed to get back in while it was preoccupied. Entering, I stubbed my toe on the stoop and cursed and frightened the cats, but at least I got in. The next time I went out back the bee had gone.

This was not the only flying insect with which I had an encounter today. Earlier, I heard a fluttering above and looked up to see a dark butterfly repeatedly bashing itself against the underside of the skylight. All it needed to do to escape was fly down about fourteen inches to clear the underside of the roof beams, but it just persisted in trying to pass through the glass of the skylight. There was a lot of spiderweb around it, as it seems that flying insects make this error frequently and the spiders are clever enough to take advantage of it, and festoon the area around the skylight with webs.

I didn't want to see the butterfly become spider dinner, so I grabbed the broom and swept the webs away. The butterfly still wanted to escape into that tantalizing sky it could see above it, though, and it was several minutes before it gave up its quest and, probably resigned to its inevitable doom, quickly found its way out from under the roof and back to the freedom for which it had so longed. Butterflies are clearly not very bright, but they are pretty, so I'm glad it escaped the perils of human construction and its own stupidity. I should be that lucky.

That tentative forecast of rain on Thursday and Friday is still there, though its shape has changed again. The greatest likelihood of rain is now on Thursday from about dawn to mid afternoon, then a much lower chance overnight, and then a somewhat increasing chance again from early morning to early afternoon on Friday. The anticipation and uncertainty is beginning to make me anxious. I'd probably be better off without weather forecasts.

But I'll go on looking at them. Tomorrow is going to be hotter than today, and it won't cool off very much until Thursday. Thankfully the nights will still be cool enough to chill the house, and hopefully I'll wake up early enough each day to get the windows closed before the day's heat penetrates. The warm season is more complicated than the cold season, when I just leave the windows closed all the time and spend a fortune running the furnace. At least the warm season is cheaper. I'll take that trade-off. After all, it means I can afford more beer. I should have a T-shirt that says "Will Sweat for Beer."

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