Today, while enjoying my morning coffee in my back yard I was admiring the bright orange Oriental poppies, but I was surprised to see a purple bee buzzing around inside of one. On closer inspection I noticed that the bee was covered with purple poppy pollen. His little “panniers” on his legs were loaded down with purple like heavy saddle bags. He was so purple-pollen laden he seemed to struggle to fly away from the poppy and clung to a blade of tall grass, seemingly catching his breath.
I thought of the silly poem my mother used to recite: “I never saw a purple cow, I never hope to see one. But I would rather see a purple cow than be one.” Two purple bees danced around the poppies, burrowing deep into the purple stamens (?) and fanning them with their wings.
The poppy, too, was streaked with purple and burnished with a deeper red — an amazing work of nature’s art — too pretty to replicate in paint or even photograph, but I tried. I continually find that my back yard is filled with greater wonders than destinations thousands of miles away.