Bees, Laundry, and a Golden Birthday

28 February 2013

Today is the 28th, and it is my 28th birthday.

It's already been a perfect day. I showered and washed my hair, I'm wearing polka dotted jeans, I'm completely ignoring a stack of student papers that I should have graded by tomorrow, and I'm staring out at the loveliest day we've seen in weeks.

I've spent most of the day drawing pictures of balloons for Jake. He's obsessed. I think I've drawn 500 balloons in the past two days.


I asked him to draw his own balloons, and he proceeded to write on my legs.


Other than that I've been doing housework.

I tend to be pretty productive on birthdays. My inclination is to be lazy, but in preparation for being lazy I end up cleaning my kitchen and bathroom and sweeping and mopping. I walk around the house all day seeing messes and saying to myself: "It's your birthday! You DESERVE a clean sink!" And then I clean it.

One thing I haven't done much of today is laundry. A few weeks ago we had to move the hives, and now they sit happily side by side on the tier down from our apartment. Here they are all pretty.


The move went pretty well. Except I'm not in love with their location. Why? Well take a gander back up at that picture and ask yourself about those green wires extending off the image to the right. Here we go zooming out.


That would be my clothesline. Half of which is now retired. And I can only hang laundry before the sun hits the beehive or after the sun goes down because otherwise I'm in the flight path. So with half the clothesline and only early morning and late evening for hanging clothes you can imagine how far behind I am in laundry.

Very. Far. Behind.

So this morning had me attempting in my birthday fervor to get a little ahead. I tootled down to the yard to retrieve dry clothes and string out some newly washed diapers while Jake wandered precariously on the brick steps. 


There are lots of unforgiving steps on the property, and we've recently let the leash out on those steps for the toddler. He's pretty good, but it makes me SO nervous. But we're not talking about toddler milestones, we're talking about bees and laundry.

So I was a little late to do the laundry job. The sun was just hitting the hive, and the bees were beginning to get active. I figured I'd make it quick.

But then the bees seemed extra loud. Alarmingly loud. Like not coming from the hives but from right next to my head loud. And low and behold, I turn around and I'm eye-level with this:


So no laundry got hung, and I ran away.

This is the fourth time our hives have split since the bees moved in last year. One of those swarms we caught, but the rest we've let fly away with a prayer because two domesticated hives is more than enough for our little corner of LA. I did go get the camera though - for my readership - and managed to snap the above picture right before they began to swarm. As the clump began to dissolve, I hightailed it up the steps with a toddler under one arm and a DSLR under the other. Within moments the sky was filled with bees.


Bees bees everywhere slowly moving to the southwest. 

The ancient gardener at our last apartment, Rosario, used to say that bee swarms are good luck which seems very appropriate on this my golden 28th.

The mad photography skills in this post warrant a link up with The Clan. The theme is Happiness or Joy, so I think pictures of bee swarms and body-painting toddlers will fit right in.

Alright. Off you go to make me feel special with well wishes and congratulations in the comment box. And go see Cari for all the other pictures people are taking on my birthday. 


  1. Let me be the first to say happy birthday, Katie.

  2. Happy birthday, Kate!! Hope you're having a good one.

    P.S. You're my hero living so close to all those bees!

  3. Happy Birthday!
    Really enjoyed the pictures even as I questioned your sanity for going near the swarm again.

  4. Happy birthday! When do we get to come see your bees?

  5. Happy birthday! Hope it was the bee's knees...

    Okay, i just couldn't help myself.

  6. Happy golden birthday!!! Just last week in my Alaska Growers School course we covered beekeeping. I'm in awe of anyone who tries it. How cool that you got to see the swarm. A week ago I would not have any idea of how amazing that would be!!

  7. Here's hoping 28 will be a great year for you, Katie girl! Love you

  8. Here's hoping 28 will be a great year for you, Katie girl! Love you

  9. Happy Birthday! It's such a treat when I see that you've posted. Add "blogged for your biggest fan" to your productivity list.

    I would've fainted on the spot at that swarm. Holy insane.

  10. That. Is. Crazy. BEES! Everywhere! So glad no one got stung. And Happy Birthday!

  11. A very merry birthday Kate! I hope it was lovely. I have about twenty bee puns in my arsenal that I'd love to use but my present to you is that I won't.

  12. Happy Golden Birthday! Wow, that's a swarm I would want to be photographing from INSIDE a safe structure. You're a brave lady!

  13. I don't know if I'm more horrified or fascinated with the bee swarm. I love that shot of them flying away, but I think I would have died right there on the spot had I seen it in real life.

    Thanks for linking up!

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