Living in the South is wonderful. Today, the high was 68 degrees F, with beautiful sunshine. My girls had adventures outside in the woods and in the creek, and I was able to harvest some vegetables (kale and carrots) from the garden for dinner.
I love honeybees, and I miss them during the winter, when it's too cold for them to fly. When temperatures reach about 60 degrees F outside, they leave the hive to search for a midwinter snack. On lovely days, such as today, I check my Mahonia, and I usually find bees. It blooms in winter with a sweet fragrance that attracts the bees. Whenever I see it, I remember my great-aunt, who brought the original plant to my grandmother from her home in Oregon, and I cherish the memory of digging the baby plant from my grandmother's woods a couple of years before she died. Honey bees visited the original plant at my grandmother's home, pollinated the flowers on some lovely winter day, and the plant produced its fruit, the "Oregon grape," which, transported by a bird or animal, fell to the ground and sprouted, and then transformed into my baby plant.
I am the mother who has unfortunately sent my children's friends home with muddy clothes after a day of playing in the country. I do try to warn unwary mothers of what messes children might get into at my house, and I encourage them to dress appropriately. On a day like today, my girls wanted to play in the creek, and when their rain boots filled with water, they took them off. Logical solution for small children, right? Even in January.
Those of you who live in colder climates: don't be too envious because tomorrow night the low is supposed to dip into the twenties, and our barefoot-creek-playing days will be over for awhile.