search instagram arrow-down

Recent Posts


Top Posts & Pages

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,631 other subscribers


Thanks for Freshly Pressing me again!!

Freshly Pressed

Blog Stats

Blogs I Follow

Blog Stats

And again! Thank you to all who follow and support me!!

I’m back from the barn on this muggy, still, August day.  The smell of horse sweat and manure clings to my clothes and hair.  I took my sister’s advice this morning. After working for several hours, I went out to enjoy the world that, all too soon, will require the ritual of dressing to enjoy. My gloves and boots are for riding, otherwise I am in the least amount of clothing possible while still being respectable.

After a quick lunch I grabbed the gallon of bee syrup and headed to the garage.  I carefully packed my smoker, and considered the hot beekeeper hat with its claustrophobic veil, shook my head and headed to the hive.  The bees were thick at the entrance.  My smoker had gone out. Before opening anything I flicked the broken lighter a million times to relight it.  It flared up, burning my knuckles but I focused on getting this done quickly.  The smoke settled the buzzing to a low hum.

I lifted the top gently and puffed a warning cloud of smoke under the lid. The feeder was dry.  Just three days ago I had added a gallon, the ladies were burning through the syrup in preparation for fall. The hum increased as I put the lid to the side and reached for the syrup. Though there were bees in the feeder tray, I wasn’t brave enough to remove it and shake them out before refilling it.  I sacrificed a few to a sweet, watery death for the sake of doing this with little protection, save the smoke. Balancing the pot of syrup I reached down for the smoker, several worker bees buzzed at my face.  I held my breath.  Bees are fastidiously hygienic.  I’m sure the very smell of me was an alarm. Breathing on them is beyond insult. One of my cats came to see what I was up to.  He rubbed incessantly against me legs as I took long slow breaths, exhaling away from the hive. The bees surrounded him and danced but he seemed oblivious. They merely looked like they were grooming him.

Mission accomplished I slid the top back in place and tightened the tie-down strap around the hive. As I walked back to the garage, I puffed the smoker both to empty it and to warn off any hitchhiker bees that might be following me. Sitting in my office later, I would smile at the wonderful scent of pine burning as it smoldered.

As I walked back up the front path, I mourned the flowers gone to seed with no new replacements flourishing. My Chinese Lantern plants have taken over one garden and this year are in full fruit. Every year, except the first when I only had 4 plants, I have struggled to dry them properly so they would maintain their outrageous, gregarious orange. This year with some advice from NHGarden Solutions I am hoping to finally accomplish this with my bumper crop.

I was snipping and collecting the stalks when a tiny toad leapt across my toes. How different the world must seem to him as I clear-cut this miniature forest? I wonder if he or she is one of the choir that serenade me to sleep every night? Soon enough their voices will be gone but for now, we can all just breathe.


7 comments on “Breathe

  1. Chris F says:

    silica crystals will dry the lanterns without fading them. I bought a large jar cheap at a floral supply place. Those are lovely. Miss them as they don’t grow here.


    1. Great, Thanks Chris! I will give them a try. Do I just stand them up in a vase of the crystals?


      1. Chris F says:

        No, put a layer of crystals in a large box, the plant material on top and cover with more crystals. The jar I got was large so it covered plenty and I’m told you can reuse it so I put it back in the jar after.


      2. Perfect! Off to Michael’s craft store to get crystals. Thanks!


  2. Touring NH says:

    Love the header picture! Hope your drying is successful!


    1. Thanks Laura, I will save you some!


  3. I hope the Chinese lanterns dry well in this sticky weather! I forgot all about the silica-probably because I’ve never used it. I’ve heard that it works well.


Love to know what you are thinking! And thank you for commenting.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Pragma Synesi - interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Putnam, in the studio and beyond

Reflections and ruminations in Education, Beauty, Art and Philosophy

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world

The city of adventure

From there to back again (usually on a bike)

Nolsie Notes

My stories, observations, and art.

Shellie Troy Anderson


Oh, the Places We See . . .

Never too old to travel!

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

Going to Seed in Zones 5b-6a

The Adventures of Southern Gardeners Starting Over in New England

I Walk Alone

The World One Step At A Time

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Susan's Musings

Whimsical Stuff from a Writer's Mind

Travels with Choppy

A dog and cat in clothing. Puns. Travel. Bacon. Not necessarily in that order. News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

A Sawyer's Daughter

The Life & Times of a Sawmill Man's Eldest Child

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words

The adventures of timbertwig in the forest of Burnley and the Rossendale Valley

crafts, permaculture, forest management, self employment, cycling


Time to change, live, encourage and reflect.


Bring new life to your garden!

The Grey Enigma

Help is not coming. Neither is permisson. -

Ethereal Nature

The interface of the metaphysical, the physical, and the cultural

UP!::urban po'E.Tree(s)

by po'E.T. and the colors of pi

Kindness Blog

Kindness Changes Everything

Crazy Green Thumbs

Chronicling a delusional gardening experience.

New Hampsha' Bees

Raising bees holistically in New Hampshire

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Therapeutic Misadventures

Daily musings on life after 60 & recreating oneself

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Writing Out Loud

A Place of Observation

cancer killing recipe

Inspiration for meeting life's challenges.

Archon's Den

The Rants & Rambles of A Grumpy Old Dude


Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. Kurt Vonnegut

Once upon a time... I began to write

My journey in writing a novel

Not a Day Over 45

A View from Mid-Life

Sharon Hewitt Rawlette, PhD


Diana Tibert

~ I write -

White Shadows

Story of a white pearl that turned to ashes while waiting for a pheonix to be born inside her !

At Home in New Hampshire

Living and Writing in the North East


Two rare, life-threatening diseases that led to a bone marrow transplant and a snappy Buttkick List



International Cowgirl Blog

%d bloggers like this: