I've learned to count on my peripheral vision in the Not-So-Big-Woods. Paying attention to some subtle movement only visible from the corner of my eye is how I've run into some of the most interesting things.
Yesterday, I was walking down the long driveway that connects our house to our private road (which in turn connects to a gravel rural road, which connects to a small suburban road, which connects to a larger suburban road, which connects to a minor state highway, which connects to a major state highway, all of which combines to make giving directions to The Little House a Big Pain). We've done some major tree-trimming in preparation for a project that I still can't believe I'm about to undertake. (more about that in coming weeks)
Anyway, I saw a tiny bit of movement out of the corner of my eye, a few steps into the woods on the west side of the driveway. The movement was so subtle that when I turned my head to look for it, I lost it. "Dark against light...dark against light....where was it...??....Aha!"
It was one of our honeybees, collecting the resin from a newly-sawn bois d'arc branch. Three bees intently circling the outer rim of the tree branch stub, picking out the apparently-tasty bits of softened sap that oozed out on the warm April day.
Sometimes when I take a photograph, the picture doesn't end up with quite the feel that I thought it would have. These did. I love how the bee's warm gold colors blend in with the yellowish wood and amber resin. A few times I was able to get the bee profiled against the blue sky for a nice contrast. That required kneeling down and leaning against the tree, which is how I almost put my knee down on another bee that was sap-chewing from a cut near the bottom of the tree. Oops. Lesson learned: look first, kneel second.