Recently, we recommended an essay called "Locusts and Wild Honey" by our local hero, John Burroughs (1837-1921).
Today, we recommend writings by Burroughs' contemporary, John Muir (1838-1914). In particular, a chapter entitled "The Bee-Pastures" from a book called The Mountains of California.
Richly depicting a long since vanished California, with its "continuous bed of honey-bloom" so thick a walkers' foot "would press about a hundred flowers at every step," the essay is a balm on a cold winter day like today, when honeybees and their flowers seem like distant, thrumming dreams.
A favorite passage to whet your appetite:
"The great yellow days circled by uncounted, while I drifted toward the north, observing the countless forms of life thronging about me, lying down almost anywhere on the approach of night. And what glorious botanic beds I had! Oftentimes on awaking I would find several new species leaning over me and looking me full in the face, so that my studies would begin before rising."John Muir