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Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Good Buzz

Back in the old daze..., a good buzz meant something entirely different than it does here on The Ranch today..., or yesterday to be precise.
It was still early..., that’s before noon..., now days.  The temperature was already approaching 60 degrees and the weather man had promised mid-seventies for a daytime high.  The preceding week hadn’t been hot..., but it had been dry and The Barnyard was dry enough to get a two wheel drive pickup up to The Barn with a load of hay.  The little two horse barn won’t hold enough hay to feed three horses, so we have to replenish the supply when the weather cooperates..., or we will be lugging bales by hand through a muddy mess.

I had my side of the operation ready..., The Barnyard smoothed up with the little cat-backhoe-front end loader-hay elevator..., and it was sitting in place ready to resume operations.  But Julie hadn’t finished her chores just yet. So I sought a little shade from the fully flowering apple tree, from which to help her out..., by shouting encouragement..., from that position.  That’s when I got the buzz.  

Back in the day when I worked for a living..., instead of working as a hobby on The Ranch..., I spent many years setting chokers on logging operations.  Back then the buzz of more than one bee would send a chill down your spine..., and water down your leg..., when that buzz was of the magnitude I was hearing under that apple tree.  Yeah..., it always meant that you were near a bee’s nest..., if not standing directly in the middle of one.  You learned pretty damn quickly to run like hell when you heard the buzz of more than one bee around you.  And nobody made fun of you when it was a false alarm either.  In later years when I was packing around a noisy chain saw, you had to rely on visual cues because you couldn’t hear the buzz of bees.  If you saw more than one bee around you..., you took off.  You learned after just one application to keep your chain saw in your hands..., even if you were getting stung and wanting to slap yourself silly to rid yourself of the horde.  Having to retrieve an expensive chain saw from the middle of a bee’s nest isn’t something you want to do once..., let alone twice.  Take my word for it.
Well..., I am getting a little older and my reflexes..., at least some of them..., have slowed down.  I didn’t take flight.  I stood and watched as the busy little buggers crawled around the beautiful apple blossoms and listened with these aging chain saw ravaged ears to a beautiful buzz.  Last year the four apple trees produced just about that many apples.  It wasn’t much better the year before.  I could not help but think about collapse of bee colonies that have been in the news the last few years.  I hope that this is a sign that the bees are making a comeback and that with their return we will see the same thing happen for other species in nature.  That’s a lot to hope for..., I know.
So, after I changed my pants..., we had to go to town to get the hay you see and I wanted to look my best..., we headed out.  A few hours later the hay was in The Barn and there was plenty of daylight left to accomplish any one of a long list of things to get done on The Ranch.  But the weather man was right for a change..., it was too damn hot for further physical labor..., and those tasks would wait for another day.  So we sat in the shade under the old apple tree, watched the horses graze on the new green grass, watched the puppies try to rouse the old dogs out of their shady slumber, watched the chickens chase bugs, and listened to a beautiful buzz..., while we worked diligently on a good buzz of our own with ice cold beer from The Saddle Bar(n).

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