Friday, April 9, 2010

The Bee Charmer

There is a scene in the movie 'Fried Green Tomatoes' where Idgie brings Ruth out on a picnic; she tries to impress Ruth by going to a beehive in a tree stump, swarming with bees, and pulling out a fresh piece of honeycomb which she drops into a glass jar and brings over to Ruth, who is fascinated. Ruth says, "You're a bee charmer, Idgie Threadgood. That's what you are. A bee charmer." That scene has stayed with me, and everytime I hear lots of bees humming, I think of it. 
This morning I was walking with Kiki through the clover field. There was a lovely scent in the air, coming in waves whenever the wind was still. But try as I may, I couldn't find the source anywhere. Then, while heading back in the direction of home, I decided to take a quick look on the other side of the line of trees which flanks each side of the creek running along the clover field. And there, white and frothy and swimming in bees, was a low blossoming tree. This was where that glorious scent was coming from. 
There were bumble bees, honey bees, and butterflies swarming all over it. I managed to capture these three pictures:

It was a magical, almost adventurous feeling standing there in the warm sun, surrounded by buzzing and gossamer wings, silent witness to this spring harvest. I'm going back to the tree this evening, before the sun sets, to clip a branch or two for the vase. You know me...I'm just a lil' bee charmer...

This past week, even the tiniest chore felt like an enormous struggle for me. I felt completely and utterly emotionally exhausted. But luckily, I also spent beautiful hours out in the woods and fields with my friends...and of course Kiki... 
 ...who loves her friend Gömbi. That's her, standing up to give him a kiss. No joke.
Gömbi belongs to my friend Gerit, who shows me new herbs and wild edibles nearly every time we go on a walk. We explored a new field the other day; it's dryer than the fields we normally walk on, so we found a few plants which like dry soil.
Clockwise from top right: woodruff, chives and mint.
The woodruff grows on forest floors, and the chives and mint grow on fields where the soil is relatively dry. All of these are edible and delicious. I put the chives and mint into shallow water to keep fresh, and dried the woodruff on the windowsil, which makes it most aromatic. To me, woodruff smells and tastes like the most interesting mix of vanilla, lemon sorbet, and ground pepper corns. Delicious!
When my friend Maria and I made plans to take a hike, I put the mint and woodruff into a mason jar with water and lemon juice. I let it sit and steep for a while; it was a really refreshing drink on our walk.

I used the wild chives in an omelette with fresh duck eggs from Gerit's ducks...but more about that in another post.

Thank you all for being such a wonderful group of friends. I can't believe my good fortune!

Ok, I'm going out to that flowering tree now....

xoxo country girl


  1. I'm glad you're feeling better. The first three pictures are amazingly beautiful. I'm looking forward to all the fresh herbs and veggies that warm weather will bring.
    Take care!

  2. great capture of those bees!! and that pic of kiki is toooo cute.

    oh there is a little surprise for you on my blog today :)

  3. I loved this post ♥

    You are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful area as you do; to be able to walk through beautiful fields filled with wild chives and mint... amazing!

    Us nature-loving-suburbanites really envy that, you know :p

  4. I'm grinning so big after reading your post. :-) Such delights and beauty and love and friendship flooding your life after a wretchedly hard week. I'm SO glad. :-)

  5. Wonderful woodland wander with treasures to bring home.

    Kiki is too cute giving kisses.

    Fried Green Tomatoes is one of my all time favorites.

    See ya later, bee charmer.

  6. lovely post, my sweet friend...

    i'll be so glad to see this week was a sad one for me....missing Buddy terribly...

    kiki looks so cute there..and those photos are amazing...

    i am just trying to hang on till the 20th of April....

    sending love and support....

  7. I love that Kiki. Small in stature, mighty in spirit!

    Have a good weekend,

  8. I love the bee pictures! it must be glorious to live there in the countryside. I haven't seen any butterflies yet. Lots of pale yellow moths, though, and large black carpenter bees looking for places to bore into. I'm a bee person...not sure if i would categorize myself as a bee charmer...but when i lived on my darling Bumblebee Farm i would stand along my lavender rows tending my roses while the honeybees went about their bizzzzness. And not one sting, in 13 years. Glad you spent time with your friends today.

  9. I love your pictures of the blossoming tree full of pollinators! I had no idea woodruff is edible and I'm going to have to try it. I have some in my little yard. love, Beth

  10. what beautiful finds - mmmmm, i love mint tea

  11. your posts inspire me...i loved the photos of the blossoming tree and as i read your words it was as though i was there sharing that moment with you! kiki is oh so sweet with her kisses for that big dog!
    i wish you a wonderful weekend my friend!

  12. Your country walk with Kiki and your friend, foraging, sounds idyllic. I did not remember that scene about the "bee charmer" and may watch the movie again one day and look for it.

  13. What a treat of a post, thankyou! I could smell those blossoms all the was from Autumn in Melbourne!
    I am glad you are being so gentle to yourself and I hope your energy comes right back!

  14. I have never seen the movie, but it sounds very sweet indeed. The bees, blossom and the peacock butterfly are all beautiful and sure signs of spring.
    Kiki just made me squeal with delight, she is so cute!
    Lovely post dear friend
    Love Morwenna xoxo

  15. Oh my gosh you find the most beautiful things. Amazing!! Keep these wonderful posts coming!! I continue to be mesmerized by all of your adventures!!

    xoxo Gert

  16. full this one.
    The photos are AMAZING!
    You managed to get a good one of each little buzzi friend. So cool.

    LOve visitng your blog every day and seeing whats on your beautiful heart and mind.

  17. I love that film....truly love it...I need to watch it again soon...woodruff sounds does that beautiful tree with all the insects...I can't wait to hear about the duck egg omelette either... I sat in the sunshine the other day with a beautiful monarch butterfly, both appreciating the first warm day...and a memory came back to me that I'd long forgot...about how I used to whistle to butterflies as a small child...funny how nature reawakens and stirs up



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