Photos and writing by June Friesen. Scripture from The Message.
In the past few years as there has been an alert about not destroying pollinators but rather creating habitats that are friendly to them. It is often easy to forget that there are many things that are pollinators in our world. For the most part we think of bees no doubt because they gather pollen for food. As they gather it they also pollinate the plant so that it produces seed, vegetables and/or fruit. However, in my reading as well as in my observation I have observed that there are other creatures that pollinate as well. So many insects find themselves around plants/trees/flowers at different times looking for food as well as moisture sources. I have collected for this article several creatures that I have observed nestled in the center of flowers of one kind or another. The featured photograph is probably one of my most favorite. It was taken outside of a building known as The Surgeon’s House in Jerome, Arizona several years ago.
20-23 God spoke: “Swarm, Ocean, with fish and all sea life! Birds, fly through the sky over Earth!”
God created the huge whales, all the swarm of life in the waters, and every kind and species of flying birds. God saw that it was good.
God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Ocean!
Birds, reproduce on Earth!”
It was evening, it was morning— Day Five.
24-25 God spoke: “Earth, generate life! Every sort and kind:
cattle and reptiles and wild animals—all kinds.”
And there it was: wild animals of every kind,
Cattle of all kinds, every sort of reptile and bug.
God saw that it was good.
It definitely is interesting to me that there is really no reference that I can find to pollinators as such in the Scriptures, yet in the world today we know that they are of great value in so many ways – mostly for making plant reproduction possible. The second factor is that when I think of pollinators I automatically think of bees as when I was growing up I learned this from my grandfather who was a beekeeper. Yet there are many other insects that are pollinators and I dare say that even some birds, especially hummingbirds are also pollinators. What does it mean to pollinate? How does pollination take place?
Here are two photos of bees. Both are in the process of some form of pollinating but as you can observe the one is totally covered in pollen. Because I was there taking the photo, I can also tell you that the little pollen collector bags on his legs were near ready to burst and he just kept trying to work more pollen into them. If you look closely, you can also see that there is now loose pollen all over the flower petals that will likely scatter just in the breezes that blow. In the second photo the pollen is pretty much gone from the flower already but the little guy is determined that if there is any left, he will be the one to get it. I have had the privilege to observe bees a few other times playing in the flower centers gathering pollen. One time there was a couple of them literally rolling in the flower center or maybe it was more like frolicking.
I also posted a couple of photos of dragonflies and while we may not think of them as pollinators as such in the past couple of years my observation hiking near lakeshores is that they spend time alighting and flying from cattail to cattail and also among the water lilies that may be blossoming. Yes, again they may be eating and gaining nutrition yet in their flying from one cattail to another or water lily to water lily they are also carrying pollen and promoting good pollination. Below you will note butterflies, a fly and a grasshopper/locust. Again, these are not commonly thought to be pollinators however just moving from one plant/blossom to another they are pollinating even if it is unintentional.
So what can you and I gain from this? The first thing that we need to consider is how we care for these necessary creatures as they are around us. Yes, they can be a nuisance at times and for some the sting of a bee is literally deadly. If one takes a bit of time to study ecology we learn that the use of insecticides and even some kinds of detergents and cleaning agents are lethal and are killing off some of these creatures or altering their DNA so they are unable to do what they were created to do. In a documentary that I have watched a couple of times recently I have learned that one can plant flowers/gardens etc. that will provide a habitat and nurturing place for these creatures. Yes, God has gifted our earth with these many blessings called insects and bugs to be more of a blessing than a nuisance.
GRATITUDE FOR MY FRIENDS, THE POLLINATORS
Thank you, God, for the beauty and wonder of Your delightful creatures,
There are bees, there are butterflies, there are grasshoppers and dragonflies,
Some are delightful to the eye and others when spotted give pause to one’s step.
Yet their busyness about their business is really all they care to accomplish.
It is such a treat to watch the little bee seem to play in the flower center –
It is as if he romps, rolls, jumps and wiggles absolutely every which way –
Delightful to have found this bounty of food for his hive –
Yet in it all he is helping the flowers become able to produce capable seeds for planting and growing in the next season.
Thank you for the beauty of the dragonfly who seems to have a short attention span,
He seems to hardly be able to wait to get from one reed, cattail or flower to the next –
Is he fearful of the birds that hover overhead – maybe looking for a morsel of lunch?
Thank you for the pesky fly – yes, they are pesky to me at least –
But they too alight on the flowers and plants
And consciously or unconsciously scatter pollen from one place to another even if it is just dropping it as they fly by another plant.
Thank you for the grasshopper – hard to think he could pollinate too –
But he sometimes nestles in the depth of the flower or seedlings of grass
To quickly hop away to another and oops – he drops some pollen as he moves on.
And the butterfly – the beautiful butterfly –
I usually have been so mesmerized by the beauty I never gave it a thought
That they too were pollinators until just recently –
I noted one with a bit of pollen on his feet as he flew off one flower and onto another,
What an awakening it was to me.
And so, I am grateful for these beautiful, sometimes pesky creatures –
And I challenge each one of us to consider and observe –
How it is that our great and awesome Creator God
Has blessed us with these little creatures that take their jobs so seriously;
Let us too be challenged to be grateful today for the things that God has created us to do –
And let us bless the world today in pollinating our space
With gratitude and grateful hearts,
Sharing and blessing others around us
With God’s peace, hope and love.
Amen and amen.
Join Christine Sine, Lisa Sand Scandrette, and Mark Scandrette for a lively discussion about their recent pilgrimages and the practice itself – Wednesday, October 26th at 9 am PT. Happening live in the Godspace Light Community Group on Facebook – but if you can’t catch the live discussion, you can catch up later on YouTube!