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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Busy, busy as a bee" — My Bees and Me: Canterbury Tales in my Terrace Garden

As you can see, the bees that are in all of the photographs featured within this blog post are, as the saying goes,"busy as a bee"The origin of the common simile "busy as a bee" is thought to be from Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, (specifically The Merchant's Tale) written in the late 1380s. 

The following is the text, in Middle English and Modern English respectively, from Canterbury Tales:

"Ey! Goddes mercy!" seyde oure Hooste tho,
"Now swich a wyf I pray God kepe me fro!
Lo, whiche sleightes and subtilitees
In wommen been! for ay as bisy as bees
Been they, us sely men for to deceyve,
And from the soothe evere wol they weyve;
By this marchauntes tale it preveth weel."

"Eh! By God's mercy!" cried our host. Said he:
"Now such a wife I pray God keep from me!
Behold what tricks, and lo, what subtleties
In women are. For always busy as bees
Are they, us simple men thus to deceive,
And from the truth they turn aside and leave;
By this same merchant's tale it's proved, I feel

This ancient comparison of women to busy bees is actually rather apt since every single worker Honeybee that you see out busily gathering nectar and pollen from flowers is a female. In the instances captured in the images posted here, the bees are loving the Hyssop in my urban terrace garden, and they are very busy gathering "ingredients" for honey.

Hyssop is a plant that has beautiful purple flowers that bees love to visit for its "pollens and nectar" according to an article by Donna Daniels. Whatever the reason is for the busy bees in my garden, these "girls" are not the only ones in my urban terrace garden who are busy. As a matter of fact, yours truly has been pretty busy tending to the herbs, flowers, vines, shrubs and trees which I grow there, and I have also been busy with submitting files to Chris Deatherage so he could update my web-site and have it reflect my new services which is my production of Virtual Stories.

As you know, my web-site has always featured my original art prints, as well as my line of cards that are about more than communication, invitations that preserve a moment in time, and event program covers that enhance any occasion. Now, it also features links to view my virtual stories and unique presentations, a fairly new service which I now provide to clients.

I hope while the bees in my garden are busy gathering "ingredients" for honey from my hyssop that their "buzz" will encourage you, dear reader, to visit my updated web-site and avail yourself of my products and services.

ADDENDUM: I no longer actively produce event program covers, invitations and greeting cards, but arrangements might be able to be made under certain circumstances.

My focus is on the Words In Our Beak book series, whose stories are told from the point of view of Cam, a female cardinalWords In Our Beak’s goal is to open readers to a simple understanding of the winged world and their environment. Set in my rooftop urban garden in New York City. Words In Our Beak is directed to children and adults who are curious about birds, and want to learn about them from a unique perspective. The books include hundreds of images of flora and fauna, links to movies, as well as to informative narratives that have been created by the author.

At this moment, May 2018, both volumes one and two are in hardcover format (as seen below) and are available wherever  books are sold.

*Here's the  purchase info for the Words In Our Beak book series:

Volume One: ISBN: 9780996378529:
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:
book culture On Columbus:

Volume Two: ISBN: 9780996378536
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:


  1. Beautiful flower with the busy bee...just like us always busy. Enjoyed reading your blog and looking at your photo art items.

  2. And you certainly know what busy means, Amelia, what with your work in the field of nutrition, as well as the self-less efforts you take (and beautiful efforts I must say) with your husband in raising your children.

    I am glad that you have enjoyed reading my blog and looking at my photo art items.

    "See you soon and very . . . "

  3. I love these photos. Gorgeous photograpy!!

  4. I appreciate your kind words, Sue, but I give credit to my mesmerizing subject, the bees interacting with my Hyssop. Thanks for stopping by, I know that you are busier than most bees!

  5. This might be one of my favorite posts of yours. Probably because I can most relate to the busy bee with a toddler and newborn! I loved viewing the videos on your on-line brochure as well as the photos. They truly tell a story and show such creativity...thanks for sharing them

  6. I appreciate your stopping by my blog as well as taking the time to comment, Morgan, especially since I realize how busy you are with your two beautiful children, and I am aware of how preoccupied you must be with details regarding your upcoming move (after having only recently moved to where you are)!

    As for your specifically relating to a "busy bee" , Morgan, I continue to find them fascinating. Did you know that "a worker [bee} is just over a centimeter long and weighs only about sixty milligrams; nevertheless, she can fly with a load heavier than herself" ? When I read this quote, which was cited in The Secret Lives of Bees, I thought of you, as you are small in stature, yet handle your toddler, new born and your husband's errands (I once saw you with husband's dry cleaning with your children in tow) with a cheerful elegance.

    I look forward to seeing you "and the gang" whenever you venture into NYC for one of your day trips.

    With appreciation for your feedback and your time as well as your effort in providing it. I am aware that blogger gave you some trouble and, I am thankful that you persevered — just as any "good" bee would do (-;


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