Tuesday, September 11, 2007

quaint vignettes from my charming rural idyll

Bees like hair.
I have come to this conclusion after many years of exhaustive research. Furthermore, bees like hair the later in the year it gets...right around late August-early September, to be precise.
Now by bees I mean these things:

Yes, I know, it's a paper wasp. Fine.
I have really crappy hair and I always have...shattery, thin and flyaway no matter what I do to it. Late in the year I will find that the bees have been hitching a ride in my flyaways, and it always comes as a surprise. An unpleasant one. As in, I scream and flap like a big dork.
Let's say I've been outside deedle-ing around. Whenever I pass through a doorway and the air pressure changes, invariably I will hear one of these things take off with a papery rattle of wings from someplace far too close to my ear, sounding like sheet cellophane. I always wonder if they've been munching on my split ends or just perching there. Either way it's never a fun thing when something that looks as evil and extraterrestrial as paper wasp goes lazing past your nose, long freaky legs hanging down, stinger visibly pulsing. GAAAAH.


I like beer A LOT. Fortunately for me (although not so fortunate for my expanding butt)I live in the middle of microbrew heaven. The local bounty of craft-brewed beer is mine for the asking, even in the smallest most out-of-the-way quickie mart.

See? I keep telling you people to move here, but do you listen? No.

We have a buddy who could be a very wealthy man if he would just get his ass in gear and market his holiday brew. He makes it specifically for giving as a gift around Christmastime. This stuff is something special. Something a cut above. It's as subtle as a fine wine, full and round but not cloying or aggressive in the least. It's absolutely perfect for pairing with roast meats and cold-weather meals. I have never tasted anything that came close to equalling this stuff. It's a miracle.

The man is a genius of flavor, I guess you'd have to say. He's brought around reds that taste like cedar and rain and crisp lagers that ring like crystal. His porters and ales are thick and full, carmel dark and as delicious as a fat man on a cold night. Take it from someone who knows...that's some hardcore delicious going on.


My garden came in thick with 'Love In A Mist' this year; thick like I've never seen before. My poor snapdragons and california poppies never stood a chance.

Nigella Damascena is an annual that flowers almost continuously from May until September, throwing a star-shaped blossom that comes a true 'hard blue'. The foliage is ferny and threadlike. The inflorescence is surrounded by further slender, branching threads, almost like an impossibly attenuate snowflake. It is the most ridiculously beautiful thing.

Beginning in June the Nigella begins to form oval seedheads that resemble balloons. Each balloon is striped longitudinally with dark brown, and this darkens as the seedhead dries to tan striped with black. A six-pointed star, open at the points, forms atop these pods once the sun has dried them, and the black seeds pepper out every times the wind blows. When I rive them out I have to stop periodically and empty my shoes; they're that generous.

This flower was introduced from a 'blue bedder mix' that I planted ten years ago. Of the selection, only 'Nigella Damascena' has come back to visit. I couldn't be happier. Blue is my addiction and my fascination, and you couldn't ask for a prettier pest.


  1. 1. Beer good!! No beer bad!!!
    2. Your garden sounds absolutely gorgeous (too girly a word?)
    3. On the hair front, turn it to your advantage. Cilla Black and Diana Roass once had beehive hairdos and they made a fortune.

  2. Reg: 1.good beer even better! 2. it is *preens* 3. i don't thing they're nesting in it (does this explain the 'BEE-52's? aha ha ha..*ahem*)...i think they're EATING it. gives me the creepy crawlies. akkkk.

  3. Love-in-a-mist everywhere...how glorious! If you are blue-smitten you'd like all my petrea flowers right now.(picture on recent post)
    Real beer? As opposed to the generic swill? Mmmm!

  4. dinah: oh that's beautiful! of COURSE it wont grow here. of COURSE. if it did i would have it everywhere. you betcha i just flash-googled that, its fantastic! you're so lucky...!

  5. Here is your solution:
    Leave out a bowl of that good beer for the bees. They would rather hang around it, than you.

    Better yet, maybe mead? 'Cause it's made from honey? Um... I dunno.

    Purty flowers.

  6. wasps: UGH!
    beer!: Good.
    blue flowers: YAY!

  7. This posting reminded me to go stock up at the liquor store.

    Thank you for this public service announcement and the pretty flower.

  8. Man I hate wasps , they are about the only thing that sends me into a stampedeing taurean panick(oh ok and clowns)..... my foul little brother used to taunt me during the 70 and 80's always impending nuclear war panicks, that I would be the only person to survive with swarms of mutated giant wasps with clown faces........
    The blue flowers sound lush , but I cant drink beer it badly upsets my guts :-(((

  9. if you're using hairspray, that's what they're attracted to. or if you spray body mist or perfume around your head. they're attracted to sweet scents.

    this time of year, around here, the gardens are dying down in preparation for fall.

  10. I'm back.

    I have beer, wine and rum.

    Care to join me?

  11. danator: i'm not gonna waste good beer on crappy bees! they can buy their own beer.

    cb: rocky! ugh! Janet! Dr. Scott! Brad! ugh!

    mj; i exist to serve.

    beast: clown-bees? that's just ugly. no. no clown bees. NO.

    pink: i've noticed that with hornets, bumbles and honey bees, but it's only the paper wasps that bother my hair.

    mj: you have an r.crumb autograph and i do not; go drink by yourself you doody woman. i am not talking to you. LALALALALA WOOOOOO WOOOOOO WOOEEEEEEE LALALA WO WOOOO WEEEEOOOO.......

  12. I can't grow flowers. That was my dad's job and he did that pretty darn well.

    I remember my first year away at college, he missed me pulling his buds to place in my hair, so he sent me some.

    I want beer! A stout one! Which reminds me...

    We want some men, who are stout hearted men, who will fight for the right they adore...

    start me with ten, who are stout hearted men, and...

    Yeah, I love songs from the forties--Gotta love 'Sunny Side of the Street'..my friends all think I am weird.

  13. Well, from 1920 on up!

  14. *dances seductively in front of FN whilst balancing R. Crumb autograph on my head*

    Come and get it, bitch.

  15. Microbrew? I'll have to look that up, sounds interesting.

    The flowers are lovely, save me some seeds. I grew some cornflowers this year, I just love the blue colour of them.

    I think you should stuff all your hair into a long Rasta type beanie, a blue one of course, and then pretend your Marge Simpson

  16. We have a micro-brewery down the street from me. Everyone raves about the beer, but the crowd looks snooty, so I don't go,lol. Maybe if I go armed wth wasps...I can sample the distracted patrons beers and save me money!

    The flower is beautiful! What a thing to look out onto each day :)

  17. awaiting: oh yeah! all my friends were so impressed when , in 1972, I could sing ALL the words to Bette Midlers' Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy From Company 'B' first go! oh hell, that was nothin'. You Made Me Love You? A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody? I was a regular little Kay Kaiser.
    we need Sherman, Mr. Peabody and his Wayback machine, awaiting. we do.

    mj: if only you knew just HOW OFTEN that kind of thing happens to me. ha! your temptations are as nothing to me! neither are your Dominoes or your Four Tops!

    frobi: it's kind of a nouveau-west coast phenom, although it's all over the US now. we got the idea from you guys, you know. a friendly local pub that brews it's own beer on site! (as opposed to a huge sweaty group of yelling, peeing germans sucking it down as fast as they can type of place) i will take the marge simpson idea under advisement. have my people call your people.

    hoosier: you gotta go right as they open on a wednesday. the only one around here that isn't that way is the North Fork, and that's thanks to the 'boarders and the bikers. straights tend to avoid a place surrounded by harleys and primer black vans covered with juggalo stickers and bloodstains.

  18. You haven't encountered my Ink Spots yet. Or my Wet Spots either for that matter.

  19. Being German, I could be kicked out of the club for this, but: I can take or leave beer (and wine and spirits for that matter).

    I miss my hair (hair) long, beautiful hair (hair), something something, flaxed, waxen (what the heck is 'waxen' hair?). Where did you go 80's? Why hast thou forsaken me?

  20. Anonymous5:36 PM

    i hate blue , but i like blue movies:-) i have a blue hybiscus plant..... and veronica the hare in my frezzer has a blue lip too... and a snaped ear...

  21. Left you something on my blog!

  22. With your hair/wasp problem , a good shave would be in order before going naturist.
    Bees in your bush could be very unpleasant :-)

    I think Mr C meant Freezer - he has a hare called veronica in his freezer - I know becuase he has waved it at me - ours is not to reason why

  23. Speaking of 'bedder', I couldn't be happier if 'Nigella Lawson' would come back to to visit! I would love to sit in the kitchen and watch her whip off something yummy right off the rack.

    Oh yeah, BEES!
    It creeps me out that Honey can last forever. How come Humans can't invent anything that lasts forever...OK other than intolerance, greed, and crappy sitcoms.

    Maybe you should wash and condition your hair with that Miracle Beer.

    I must commend you on two exceptional lines:
    "as delicious as a fat man on a cold night"
    "a papery rattle of wings from someplace far too close to my ear, sounding like sheet cellophane" perfect...
    except I would trade fat man for Nigella Lawson and it wouldn't necessarily have to be a particularly cold night.



  25. Ha! We'll see about that!



  27. Aha , I have a secret weapon.
    Altho Nigella is a good jewish girl , I have seen the way she handles a bit of pancetta , the girl is gagging for a bit of Forskin.
    And I have one
    HA HA HA
    *****waves foreskin at homo with a jaunty air*****

  28. beast my dear fellow,
    I have a 'prepuce'sition for you.

    Perhaps we could circumscribe a solution to all this foreskinned is forewarned silliness before it gets all fercockt!?

    My Moyl Morty can pull off a quickie bris before sundown.
    The only catch is that you'll have to listen to his 2 jokes that he has been telling for 40 years.

    There's "no end to that prick" one and the one about "circumsizing whales with 4 skin divers"..yada yada yada.

    What have you got to lose?

  29. Puns are the lowest form of humor (IMHO)...but such a guilty pleasure.

  30. I didnt say it was still attached :-)

  31. Oh My Word!
    Is it in the Tip Jar?

  32. He's made a coin purse out of it!

  33. where the hell is my comment? I can't remember it now but was something about bees and flowers. I forgot to mention how much I love beer but you probably had that figured anyway.

  34. mj: JUST SAY NOOOOOOOO to the wet spots. NO NO NO NO NO.

    'shot: DONT LIKE BEER??? sonny, you just aint had the good stuff. someone get this man a Boundary Bay Red STAT!

    mr.C: lsd and blogging don't generally mix, my love. on the other hand you make it look SOOOOO good baby XXXX!

    awaiting: OMG THANK YOU! and i'd like to thank all the little people who made it possible, too. billy barty; for example...he was KEY.

    beast: you forget i have a strange metaphysical connection with Mr. C. VERONICA=BLUE HARE *knowing wink, secret signs exchanged*

    homoE: so many Nigella Lawson-cooking-sex double entendre thingies spring to mind here that i am literally overwhelmed. *lies down in dark room with cold washcloth on head*

    beast, homoE: now now. you see what happens? boy, please. (jesus, i turn my back for a minute...)

    mj: don't you egg them on, now.


    homoE: oh for the love of pete, I give up.

    skipping down to
    KYAH! lordy, you dissappear for a month of sundays and look what you come back too. classy here as always...!