A Pitcher Plant and a Bee

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I love nature.  I crave being outdoors as much as possible, away from computers, fax machines, television, treadmills, the telephone (even the smart phone!) and the hustle and bustle of everyday work days.  Animals, creation, flowers, the wind, order, simplicity, scents…truly it all is amazing.
Today, after over three hours, I just could not stand it anymore.  I watched the little honey bee venturing into the mouth of one of our pitcher plants.  He was mesmerized by the sweet scent, completely unaware of the long, suffering death he faced.  Once the bee passed over the outer rim or lip of the pitcher mouth, it was all over for the poor guy.  He fought hard to climb up and escape, literally hours at it.
There is nothing more exciting and suspenseful than watching a pitcher plant devour a bug with your own eyes.  I don’t mind the nasty flies and small “no seeum” bugs being sucked into the pitcher plant’s alluring trap, but this bee was another story.We have two different types of pitcher plants.  Both plants engage in the same eating frenzy. They are great plants to have where you may have a pesky bug or mosquito problem.  The pitcher plant stores up a sweet-smelling juice that literally lures insects into its mouth.  Unfortunately, once the insect is about to sip, they instead slide and fall down the pitcher of the plant into an abyss of fluid, losing energy to climb back up and being overpowered by fate.  This bee wasn’t about to give up his life! The pitcher plant eventually “eats” the insects.  The juice or liquid in a pitcher plant is similar to nectar, which is why an insect such as a bee is attracted so easily to feed, however, the juice contains chemicals similar to our own stomach’s digestive system. Basically, the plant slowly munches away and the insect eventually dissolves, becoming part of the very juice it tried to drink.
Back to the bee…after watching his struggle all morning long, I just had to help him out.  I gently bent the pitcher down and patiently waited for him to climb out, which he did, and pretty quickly.  Away he flew, and I am really hoping he is thankful for his freedom.   I hope he shares this act of kindness with his friends and I can go the rest of my life without being stung…or worrying about my dog being stung (who is highly allergic to bees!).  What do you think?  Helping this bee actually made my day, one tiny humane effort in this enormous world we live in.  I believe everything makes a difference, do you?
Today has been a gloriously beautiful day.  Add that it is Friday…
I am wishing you a wonderful weekend, time for yourself and with those you love, moments of laughter and especially good food, health, and lots of Vitamin D provided by the sunshine!  🙂