I try to stay on topic. This is a bee blog. But it’s hard to think about bees when our weather is so crummy. It has been extremely cold! Winter is officially over, but only on the calendar. A few days ago, my 11-year-old daughter said that winter leaves, then the next day, throws the door open and shouts, “And one more thing!” (Don’t worry, she’s not picking that up from her parents.) Anyway, I guess winter has a lot to say this year.
I’ll write about bees next time. For now, I’ll just prattle about last weekend, which was a happy one for me. If you saw my post last Friday, you know that it was my birthday (and it was Apitherapy Day!). I was given some great gifts – a book written by Steven Pinker, a CD by insensitive Calgary pop star Jann Arden, and some crafts made by my kids, like the painting below which was from my 15-year-old. It’s my first-ever oil portrait and I rather like the style, if not the substance. Next time I get lost, I’d love to have my missing persons’ posters feature this portrait.
My son didn’t ask me to pose for my portrait. Instead, he furtively snapped the picture you see to the left. Then he spent a few hours making art and presented the result as a surprise birthday gift. As an artist, he is creative but methodical. You can see how he printed the photo in black and white, then gridded it to get the proportions. He kindly made my hair less gray but I think that he could have given me less forehead, too! You can see that he has an impressionist style, but for the forehead, he went for realism.
I have no idea how he became such an outstanding artist. He has sold several paintings (his Jerusalem was great and sold back around Hanukkah). I suspect he’ll put himself through astrophysics school by selling paintings – like this one.
If his talent arrived genetically, it was from his mom. I can hardly assemble a stick-figure, even though I’m pretty good with figures. (Maths are my strong suit.) Here’s my best (and only) stick figure:
My birthday was on Good Friday, so last weekend included Easter. My kids painted eggs – I’ve never understood why the Easter celebration includes decorating eggs, followed by looking for them (while eating chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps) on Easter morning. I’m guessing that there’s some obscure conflation with redemption from original sin symbolized in the egg hunt. Maybe a reader will be kind enough to explain it to me. Nevertheless, this year, I joined my kids by painting an egg – you can see it here.
It’s my fragile Earth egg. As they say, you can take the beekeeper out of geophysics, but you can never take the thrill of plate tectonics out of the beekeeper.
Back to our cold spring weather. Yesterday was brutal. It began at minus 24 °C here in Calgary. The high was about -11 °C, but the wind was wicked – it felt like minus 40 to me. I hope it warms up soon. We have a couple of packages of bees flying in from New Zealand in two weeks. (Boy, will their wings be tired by the time they arrive!) The forecast teases that it will be above freezing by then. I hope so. Meanwhile, here’s what our breeze-way looked like this morning, April 7, 2018: