This weekend, I had an opportunity to make a quick get-a-way to Beaufort, SC. Now I had never been to Beaufort before and had no idea how perfectly lovely and what a tidal treasure box this little town was.
We stayed in the quaint, historical downtown area, that was extremely walkable and precious at every turn. My eyes enjoyed the sights and my soul soaked in the slow yet sensory rich living I am naturally drawn to.
I had an appointment Saturday morning at a local salon, Nail Bar On Bay for a mani/pedi that was a quick two blocks from City Loft Hotel, where we stayed.
As an aside, City Loft Hotel was a wonderful newly renovated boutique hotel, with modern features in the rooms, a well appointed 24/7 gym, quaint coffee and sweet shop, a fun choice of cruising bikes and within walking distance to scenic views, shopping, restaurants and pretty much everything you could want to do in Beaufort.
Plus, if you happen to be in the area – Nail Bar On Bay is definitely the nail salon to go to as I was completely pampered by the owner, Jason. He was a great conversationalist and not only kept me entertained the whole time but I walked away floating on happy feet and admiring my red nails. It is a salon that caters equally to men, women and children. Jason immediately knows everyone by name and has a way of making all feel welcomed!
After leaving the salon, on the way back to the hotel, I decided to take a scenic detour along some back neighborhood, tree lined streets as opposed to walking through the more lively downtown. I wanted to take pictures and look at some of the historic homes.
There was one home in particular that had caught my eye the evening before and I wanted to investigate it further. She sat on Bay Street directly across from the bay, overlooking the Beaufort Memorial Bridge.
It was a home that you knew had seen glorious years as it had the bones of having once been a great beauty but time was catching up with her as she showed some signs of dilapidation.
As I walked around the side of the home, my head in the puffy, white cloud laden blue skies, daydreaming romantic notions of one day possibly owning a home like this. When suddenly, my visions of a refurbished bed and breakfast was interrupted by twisted vines and vibrant pink flowers, trellised along the paint chipped, weathered slats of what was still a strong and long fence line.
As I stopped to take pictures, I could hear them before I saw them.
This vibrating sound that created a buzz… I knew I recognized this sound. It was the sound of wings from a big bumbling bee.
Bees have been a symbol of wealth, good luck and prosperity since Ancient times.
So I began looking more closely and there they were, the pair of them. Dancing and intertwining amongst the vines and flowers, and themselves…
It was a private dance and I wasn’t invited, yet as I quietly observed, I encroaching little by little on their territory…taking care not to disturb them while taking pictures.
I was truly fascinated. This pair of mated Carpenter bee…often confused with the big fuzzy Honey bee.
The big difference, Carpenter bees have no hive. Carpenter bees are solitary bees and do not form colonies. They mate, lay their larvae and collect pollen to put in the larvae’s “cell”…
The male bee, seemingly more aggressive to protect the nest yet has no stinger, and the female bee that is slow to anger but capable of stinging.
It is a union in nature.
So I watched as they bounced from flower to flower, dipping themselves in to drink the nectar and collect pollen, and quickly popping out to move on. Clumsily bumping into each other and the foliage, as if drunk off the sweet flowery goodness.
So many find the Carpenter bee to be a pest, because of the female’s ability to eat and burrow into wood to lay their nest, when really they are the gentle giant of bees and due to their short mouthparts, they are important pollinators for shallow flowers.
For some, such as the passion flowers, the Carpenter bee is the sole pollinating species.
With the decline in the bee populations around the world, local ecosystems need pollinators, and the carpenter bees are some of the best.
“Where there are bees there are flowers, and wherever there are flowers there is new life and hope.” – Christy Lefteri
“Listen to the bees and let them guide you.” – Brother Adam
The bottom line, to ensure your garden thrives, keep a pair of Carpenter bees around.
It was this very thought that made me think that the Carpenter bees weren’t too unlike us humans, and once again there was a life lesson to be learned from watching nature.
So I came away from my weekend with two hopeservations…1. visit Beaufort and 2. keep the union alive.